GODFLESH — Streetcleaner

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GODFLESH - Streetcleaner cover
3.82 | 21 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1989

Filed under Industrial Metal


1. Like Rats (4:28)
2. Christbait Rising (6:59)
3. Pulp (4:16)
4. Dream Long Dead (5:17)
5. Head Dirt (6:08)
6. Devastator (3:21)
7. Mighty Trust Crusher (5:30)
8. Life Is Easy (4:54)
9. Streetcleaner (6:45)
10. Locust Furnace (4:43)
11. Tiny Tears (3:23)
12. Wound (3:06)
13. Dead Head (4:07)
14. Suction (3:24)

Total Time: 66:26


- G. Christian Green / Bass
- Paul Neville / Guitar (tracks 6–9)
- Justin Broadrick / Guitar, Vocals

About this release

Label: Earache / Combat Records
Release Date: November 13, 1989

Produced by Godflesh.
Engineered by Pete Gault (tracks 1–5) and Ric Peet (tracks 6-14)
Album cover is from the movie "Altered States" (the first hallucination scene)

Thanks to Stooge, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Listening to Godflesh's debut album I have to regularly remind myself that it came out in 1989, because it sounds like something which wouldn't be out of place in the industrial metal scene a decade later. This is a pioneering work which demonstrates the potential of incorporating industrial elements into a metal context at around the time that other seminal works by the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry were experimenting with putting a bit of metal into an industrial context, and deserves to be considered next to the likes of Pretty Hate Machine or The Land of Rape and Honey in any consideration of foundational works of industrial metal.

Members reviews

Sometimes when you listen to one of these acclaimed albums and don’t like them so much, you can still see what makes the album so great. You can recognize what other people see in it and write it off as just not being your thing. But sometimes, you might just be left mystified, wondering “What am I missing?”

Just before Streetcleaner, I had been listening to Peter Gabriel’s Passion, one of his most revered releases and a widely acclaimed New Age/World Music album. The album didn’t do anything for me, mostly because I’m not a fan of the style of music. However, I could still acknowledge the great compositions and brilliant atmospheres crafted in the soundscapes, and it was no mystery to me why it is so well liked.

Streetcleaner is a different case. I love metal. I love dark, misanthropic, heavy music. But listening to Streetcleaner, I struggle to find any appeal at all. The songs are all incredibly simple, and it sounds much less like a performance and much more like each member came up with one loop and just had it repeat for 5 minutes. There’s nothing innately wrong with this, but if you’re gonna repeat something for so long, at least make it good. The riffs are barely there; boring, slow, uninspired guitar that does little other than add a sludgy atmosphere, and ditto for the bass. The drum beats are equally boring and uninspired, and aside from some occasional addition of double bass, never do anything interesting. The vocals are sometimes there, and that’s all I can say about them.

The album is certainly dark, but the problem is that it is not active in achieving this. All the music is incredibly passive, and by that I mean there’s a lot of nothing going on aside from sounding heavy and dissonant, and it becomes the listener’s job to project any actual mood to it. The music doesn’t invoke anything on its own, but rather acts as a pool to collect such projected feelings. Unique at the time, and influential for everything that came after… but I’d say this is another case of influenced far surpassing the influencer.
A Calm Harpy
This album is an absolute beast, but especially in the context of the year it was released. In 1989, any metal band using an electronic drum (with a hip-op beat!) would have been laughed off stage, yet this wasn't any metal band. Not by the long shot. Formed with former member of Napalm Death, Justin Broadrick, the music is equally innovative, yet a thousand times slower.

From the refrain of "Like Rats", to the machine gun fire of the title track (named after an Uzi), this album is relentless and punishing. Justin's demonic voice with the backdrop of sludgy guitars and mechanical drums creates this apocalyptic sound that even their later albums couldn't quite match.

This is a masterpiece of metal music and music as a whole because if nothing else, it created a genre.

Ratings only

  • BitterJalapeno
  • Fant0mas
  • Vim Fuego
  • Paluvatar
  • Psydye
  • starlessabstract
  • serenitypaintedeath
  • Ozark Soundscape
  • Unitron
  • jahkhula
  • Amplifier Worship
  • DefinitionOfHatred
  • fzoulman
  • Pogonomy
  • Paperbag
  • Fantacide
  • Anster
  • slow man

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