Godflesh, "Us and Them"
Here we have the follow-up to one of my favorite albums ever, "Songs of Love and Hate." This album fits in the same category that "Selfless" does to a degree, namely it is a much better album than I remember. Unlike "Selfless," there are a few down moments on here that aren't remix related. The biggest of these moments to me are the songs "Defiled" and "The Internal." "Defiled" is defienitely an industrial song, but it seemes totally robotic, as opposed to having the tension between man and machine that was present on Godflesh's best work. "The Internal's" main problem is that, while it is in the tradition of such sad, yet powerful songs as, "Slateman" and "Frail," it fails to bring down what Hunter S. Thompson called, "...the million pound shithammer." It just stays in that sad, strained space, without bringing the emotional baseball bat to the side of the listener's head. This album is also the first time they really use vocal distortion and not of the pitch shifter variety. The bass still rumbles in quite a bit here, as do the drums, although they seem to have gone back to exclusively using the machine. They also start a few songs with a muted intro that sounds as though the mic had been stuffed into the pillows of a couch in order to prevent the sound from being totally captured. There are many a dance moment on here, though they number fewer than I had remembered, thankfully.
Overall I enjoy this album, but I think it is safe to say we all knew they were in decline on this album, which would end shortly with only two more releases before the abrupt end of the 'flesh.
I, Me, Mine