Mothra (song)

Last updated
"Mothra"
Mothra (1992) cover.jpg
Promotional single by Godflesh
from the album Pure
Released1992
Format
RecordedSeptember–October 1991
Genre Industrial metal
Length4:31
Label Relativity
Producer(s)
Godflesh singles chronology
"Slateman""Mothra""Xnoybis"
Audio sample

"Mothra" is a song by the English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was taken from their 1992 album Pure and saw release as a radio promo and music video in the same year. The track's title is derived from 1961 Japanese film of the same name by Ishirō Honda. Musically, "Mothra" is a grinding, mechanical song with shouted vocals and heavily distorted instruments.

Industrial metal is the fusion of heavy metal music and industrial music, typically employing repeating metal guitar riffs, sampling, synthesizer or sequencer lines, and distorted vocals. Prominent industrial metal acts include Ministry, Godflesh, KMFDM and Nine Inch Nails.

Godflesh English industrial metal band

Godflesh are an English industrial metal band from Birmingham, England. The group formed in 1982 under the title Fall of Because but did not release any complete music until 1988 when Justin Broadrick and G. C. Green (bass) renamed the band and decided to use a drum machine for percussion. Melding heavy metal with industrial music and later with electronic music and dub, Godflesh's innovative sound is widely regarded as a foundational influence on other industrial metal and post-metal acts and as significant to both experimental metal and extreme metal.

<i>Pure</i> (Godflesh album) 1992 studio album by Godflesh

Pure is the second studio album by English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on 13 April 1992 through Earache Records. Though originally labeled only as industrial metal, the album has since been recognised as one of the earliest post-metal releases. Musically, Pure is harsh and mechanical, with protracted songs and an abundance of deliberate repetition. Like much of Godflesh's music, it is regarded as particularly heavy and aggressive.

Contents

Composition

"Mothra", the second track on 1992's Pure , is a weighty industrial metal song. Ned Raggett of AllMusic described the track as "surprisingly commercial for the band" and highlighted its "memorable main riff and drumming" as pleasingly listenable; he selected the song as one of his favourites from Pure. [1] Joseph Schafer of Decibel agreed with Raggett, considering "Mothra" one of Godflesh frontman Justin Broadrick's most accessible songs, but added that "it still sounds like getting crushed by a ton of lead". [2] Mike Gitter of Spin and RIP Magazine described hearing "Mothra" by writing, "It's as if your whole body is made to serve as a giant ear, as you are beaten upon by a low-level shock wave. You lose all defenses and filters against the world". [3] He also wrote that the song is "the sound of rock taken to its bleakest and slowest extremes". [4]

AllMusic Online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.

Decibel is a monthly heavy metal magazine published by the Philadelphia-based Red Flag Media since October 2004. Its sections include Upfront, Features, Reviews, Guest Columns and the Decibel Hall of Fame. The magazine's tag-line is currently "Extremely Extreme" ; the editor-in-chief is Albert Mudrian.

Justin Broadrick Record producer, musician, singer

Justin Karl Michael Broadrick is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer. He is best known as a founding member of the band Godflesh, one of the first bands to combine elements of extreme metal and industrial music. He was briefly in the English grindcore band Napalm Death when he was a teenager in the mid-1980s, writing and recording guitar for Side One of Napalm Death's debut album, Scum. Broadrick has also maintained a parallel career as a producer, producing records and remixes for groups such as Pantera, Isis, Mogwai and Hydra Head labelmates Pelican. Since 2012, he has been releasing hard techno music under the solo moniker JK Flesh. Broadrick has set up record labels such as HeadDirt, Avalanche Recordings, Post Mortem Productions, Lo Fibre and Heartache.

As is the case with most Godflesh songs, "Mothra" was recorded with a drum machine, which, according to Shawn Macomber of Decibel, "really hammers the [Steve] Albini vibe" in allusion to the band Big Black. [5] Macomber also recognised "Mothra" as a fan favourite song. [5] Writing for Melody Maker , Sharon O'Connell also noted the song's grinding, deliberate repetition in a favourable light. [6] The Quietus' Noel Gardner wrote that the various machine, guitar and bass elements of "Mothra" seem incongruous from a distance, but in practice they work well. [7] In their book The Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock, Ira A. Robbins and David Sprague characterise "Mothra" as having a memorable and definite groove. [8]

Drum machine electronic musical instrument designed to imitate the sound of drums or other percussion instruments

A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument that creates percussion. Drum machines may imitate drum kits or other percussion instruments, or produce unique sounds. Most modern drum machines allow users to program their own rhythms. Drum machines may create sounds using analog synthesis or play prerecorded samples.

Steve Albini American record engineer and rock musician

Steven Albini is an American musician, record producer, audio engineer and music journalist. He was a member of Big Black, Rapeman and Flour, and is a member of Shellac. He is the founder, owner and principal engineer of Electrical Audio, a recording studio complex in Chicago. In 2018, Albini estimated that he had worked on several thousand albums during his career.

Big Black Band

Big Black was an American punk rock band from Evanston, Illinois, active from 1981 to 1987. Founded by singer and guitarist Steve Albini, the band's initial lineup also included guitarist Santiago Durango and bassist Jeff Pezzati, both of Naked Raygun. In 1985, Pezzati was replaced by Dave Riley, who played on Big Black's two full-length studio albums, Atomizer (1986) and Songs About Fucking (1987).

"Mothra" derives its title from Ishirō Honda's 1961 film Mothra , which features the fictional giant monster Mothra. [2] [3] Some of the song's lyrics are borrowed from "Avalanche" by Leonard Cohen, a track off of his 1970 album Songs of Love and Hate (a title that Godflesh later borrowed). [9] [10] [11]

Ishirō Honda Japanese film director

Ishirō Honda, sometimes miscredited in foreign releases as "Inoshiro Honda", was a Japanese film director and screenwriter. He is best known for his kaiju and tokusatsu films, including several entries in the Godzilla series, but also worked extensively in the documentary and war genres earlier in his career. Honda was also a lifelong friend and collaborator of Akira Kurosawa, and worked with Kurosawa extensively during the 1980s and 1990s.

<i>Mothra</i> (film) 1961 film directed by Ishirō Honda

Mothra is a 1961 kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda and produced by Toho Studios, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. It is the genre film debut of screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa, whose approach to Toho's monster and fantasy films grew to prominence during the 1960s. The film stars Frankie Sakai, a popular comedian in Japan at the time, and Hiroshi Koizumi, in the first of many roles he would adopt in tokusatsu films. Jerry Ito also stars in the film, marking his only appearance in a Toho kaiju film.

Leonard Cohen Canadian poet and singer-songwriter

Leonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet, and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality and romantic relationships. Cohen was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian honour. In 2011, Cohen received one of the Prince of Asturias Awards for literature and the ninth Glenn Gould Prize.

Release

"Mothra" released as a promotional maxi single in 1992. Though licensed from Earache Records (who, at the time, managed Godflesh), the promo was distributed by Relativity Records. [12] Pure's introductory track, "Spite", it also included on the release as a B-side. [12] "Mothra" is one of the few Godflesh songs to feature a music video. Directed by Barry Maguire in 1992, the video was described by the band as "a curious affair that mixed David Lynch-style cinematography and concepts with performance shots of Godflesh in a dodgy-looking disco". [13]

A promotional recording, or promo, or plug copy, is an audio or video recording distributed free, usually in order to promote a recording that is or soon will be commercially available. Promos are normally sent directly to broadcasters, such as music radio and television stations, and to tastemakers, such as DJs and music journalists, in advance of the release of commercial editions, in the hope that airplay, reviews, and other forms of exposure will result and stimulate the public's interest in the commercial release.

A maxi single or maxi-single is a music single release with more than the usual two tracks of an A-side song and a B-side song.

Earache Records is an independent record label, music publisher and management company founded by Digby Pearson, based in Nottingham, England with offices in London and New York. It helped to pioneer extreme metal by releasing early grindcore and death metal records between 1988 and 1994. The label roster has since diversified into more mainstream guitar music, working with bands such as Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke and The White Buffalo. The company also hosted the 'Earache Express' stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017 and will be hosting 'The Earache Factory' at Boomtown Fair 2018.

Track listing

No.TitleLength
1."Mothra"4:31
2."Spite"4:31
Total length:9:02

Personnel

Credits adapted from "Mothra" liner notes [12]

Electric guitar electrified guitar; fretted stringed instrument with a neck and body that uses a pickup to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals

An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, plucks, fingerpicks, slaps or taps the strings. The pickup generally uses electromagnetic induction to create this signal, which being relatively weak is fed into a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker(s), which converts it into audible sound.

G. C. Green British musician

Ben George Christian "G. C." Green is an English musician, best known as the co-founder and bass guitarist of the Birmingham-based industrial metal band, Godflesh.

The bass guitar is a plucked string instrument similar in appearance and construction to an electric or an acoustic guitar, except with a longer neck and scale length, and typically four to six strings or courses.

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. Raggett, Ned. "Godflesh – Pure". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  2. 1 2 Schafer, Joseph. "Top Ten Kaiju Metal Crossovers". Decibel . Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  3. 1 2 Gitter, Mike (June 1992). "Godflesh – Noise²". RIP Magazine . Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  4. Gitter, Mike (June 1992). "Godflesh – Pure (Earache/Relativity)". Spin . 8: 78.
  5. 1 2 Macomber, Shawn. "Czar Issues Decree: Top Five Godflesh Songs". Decibel . Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  6. O'Connell, Sharon (February 1992). "Godflesh – Pure (Earache)". Melody Maker . 68: 32.
  7. Gardner, Noel (21 August 2009). "Godflesh – Slavestate, Pure, Cold World Reissues". The Quietus . Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  8. Robbins, Ira A.; Sprague, David (7 March 1997). The Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock. Fireside Books. p. 302. ISBN   0684814374.
  9. "Interview with Justin Broadrick of Godflesh". Metal Maniacs . January 1995. Archived from the original on 28 June 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2018.
  10. Pure (CD liner notes). Godflesh. Earache Records. 1992. MOSH32.CS1 maint: others (link)
  11. Songs of Love and Hate (Vinyl liner notes). Leonard Cohen. Columbia Records. 1971. C 30103.CS1 maint: others (link)
  12. 1 2 3 "Mothra" (CD liner notes). Godflesh. Relativity Records. 1992. RPROCD-0152.CS1 maint: others (link)
  13. In All Languages (DVD liner notes). Godflesh. Earache Records. 2001. MOSH250.CS1 maint: others (link)