Us and Them (Godflesh album)

Last updated
Us and Them
Us and Them (Godflesh album).jpg
Studio album by
Released17 May 1999
Recorded1997–1999
Genre
Length64:05
Label Earache
Producer
Godflesh chronology
Love and Hate in Dub
(1997)
Us and Them
(1999)
In All Languages
(2001)

Us and Them is the fifth studio album by English band Godflesh. It was released through Earache Records on 17 May 1999 in Europe and on 8 June 1999 in North America. As with Godflesh's 1997 remix album Love and Hate in Dub , Us and Them is influenced by breakbeats, drum and bass, oldschool jungle, trip hop and hip hop.

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.

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.

<i>Love and Hate in Dub</i> 1997 remix album by Godflesh

Love and Hate in Dub is remix album by industrial metal band Godflesh released on 24 June 1997 through Earache Records. The remixed songs are sourced from their 1996 album Songs of Love and Hate, and they adopt a more ambient, dub and drum and bass flavor.

Contents

Shortly after Us and Them's release, Godflesh frontman Justin Broadrick admitted that he "hated" the album as it was the expression of an "identity crisis". [2] Years later, he revised his thoughts, saying that his hatred of Us and Them was "overstated", and that his main issue in the album lies in its more "cringe-worthy moments." [3]

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.

Composition and music

Us and Them features a sound similar to Songs of Love and Hate's remix album, Love and Hate in Dub (1997), driven percussively and relying on thumping drum and bass and hip hop rhythms. [4] AllMusic critic John Bush, who described the record as "heavy grindcore with drum machines," wrote: "From the drum'n'bass onslaught of the opener though, it's clear that Us and Them is more indebted to electronics and pure noise. The razor-sharp guitars and sweeping, guttural vocals that fans have come to expect from any Godflesh record are still intact, but the pair extend the sound with avenues rarely heard on their proper albums." [5] Ian Christe of CMJ thought that Rather than the lurching stomp of 1992's Pure , Us and Them calls on trip-hop and slowed jungle. [6] Decibel 's Kevin Stewart-Panko also thought that the track "Internal" "acts as an elegiac, post-punk, shoegazing harbinger of what was to come on Hymns and the Jesu project." [7] In a 2015 retrospective with Consequence of Sound , Broadrick said Us and Them "was so informed by the excesses of dance music ... But as we know, dance music moves at fucking light speed relative to rock music." [3]

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.

Drum and bass, is a genre and branch of electronic music which emerged from rave and jungle scenes in Britain during the early 1990s. The style is often characterised by fast breakbeats with heavy bass and sub-bass lines, sampled sources, and synthesizers.

CMJ Holdings, Corp. was a music events and online media company which ran a website, hosted an annual festival in New York City, and published CMJ New Music Monthly.

The album's closing track, "Live to Lose", was originally recorded in 1995. [8] It was intended to be a vinyl-only bonus track on Us and Them, but Earache had stopped supporting the format by 1999. [8] Shortly after releasing Us and Them, Godflesh began work on a proposed remix album, Us and Them in Dub. [9] While this album was never released, two tracks from it appear on the 2001 compilation In All Languages .

<i>In All Languages</i> (Godflesh album) 2001 compilation album by Godflesh

In All Languages is a compilation album by British industrial metal band Godflesh, released on 24 July 2001 through Earache Records. It is a double album, and a companion music video DVD was also released in 2001. In All Languages' first disc acts as a greatest hits collection spanning from Godflesh's 1988 self-titled EP to their 1999 studio album, Us and Them. The second disc compiles rare and unreleased tracks.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [5]
Chronicles of Chaos 8.5/10 [4]
The Wire Very positive [10]

AllMusic's John Bush wrote: "In a sense though, Us and Them is the same kind of record Godflesh has been making since its inception... It's just that the duo has pushed the envelope much farther than any of its contemporaries." [5] Chronicles of Chaos critic Paul Schwarz thought: "At 64 minutes, Us and Them is a lot to take in, especially in one sitting, and I find it a little bit of a struggle as an album, but it does have some great tracks and creates a blanket of depressive, atmospheric industrial sound which is hard to throw off." [4] Ian Christe of CMJstated: "Start to finish, this is a beautiful , moody and sincere record from a band most thought had milked its last cow." [6] Ken Hollings of The Wire wrote, "Out of the masterful, combative collection of rants, songs and beats on Us and Them, Godflesh has conjured up a minor apocalypse. Not a moment too soon." [10]

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.

<i>The Wire</i> (magazine) British music magazine

The Wire is a British avant-garde music magazine based in Hackney, London. The Wire launched in 1982 as a jazz magazine with an emphasis on avant-garde and free jazz. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the magazine expanded its scope to include a broad range of musical genres. Since then, The Wire has covered electronica, modern classical, free improvisation, avant-rock, hip hop, nu jazz, traditional musics and beyond. The Wire has been independently owned since 2001, when the six permanent staff members at that time purchased the magazine from its previous owner, Naim Attallah.

Track listing

No.TitleLength
1."I, Me, Mine"5:20
2."Us and Them"5:56
3."Endgames"4:56
4."Witchhunt"5:11
5."Whose Truth Is Your Truth"5:03
6."Defiled"5:29
7."Bittersweet"4:34
8."Nail"4:09
9."Descent"5:38
10."Control Freak"5:37
11."The Internal"6:33
12."Live to Lose"5:39
Total length:64:05

Personnel

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.

Bass guitar Electric bass instrument

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

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.

Related Research Articles

Jesu (band) British post-metal band

Jesu is a British experimental band formed in 2003 by Justin Broadrick following the 2002 breakup of his band Godflesh. It is named after the last song on Hymns, the final album of Godflesh's initial run. Jesu's sound is heavily layered and textured, incorporating a diverse mix of influences. Broadrick himself has stated that "...it's very loosely speaking pop/rock/metal/electronica ... I'm intentionally writing what I consider to be coherent "pop" songs".

<i>Streetcleaner</i> 1989 studio album by Godflesh

Streetcleaner is the debut studio album by English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on 13 November 1989 through Earache Records and was reissued with a second disc of previously unreleased material on 21 June 2010. The album is widely acclaimed by critics and is often cited as a landmark release in industrial metal; though not the genre's first release, Streetcleaner helped define what industrial metal would become.

<i>Slavestate</i> 1991 EP by Godflesh

Slavestate is an EP by industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released in July 1991 through Earache Records. The EP saw the band experimenting with more samples and electronic sounds than their predominantly industrial metal prior releases.

<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.

<i>Selfless</i> (album) 1994 studio album by Godflesh

Selfless is the third studio album by British industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on 26 September 1994 in Europe and on 18 October 1994 through Earache and Columbia Records. Being the band's major-label debut, the record features a more conventional and rock-oriented sound compared to Godflesh's previous releases. It spawned two singles, "Xnoybis" and "Crush My Soul". The music video for the latter was directed by photographer Andres Serrano.

<i>Songs of Love and Hate</i> (Godflesh album) 1996 studio album by Godflesh

Songs of Love and Hate is the fourth studio album by English industrial metal band Godflesh. Released on 20 August 1996 through Earache Records, it is the band's first album to feature live drums, played by drummer Bryan Mantia, and a more traditional heavy metal sound, generally lacking the experimental and mechanical elements of previous releases. The cover is a photograph of Cancer Alley, Louisiana.

<i>Hymns</i> (Godflesh album) 2001 studio album by Godflesh

Hymns is the sixth studio album by English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on 23 October 2001 through Music for Nations and was the band's final album before breaking up in 2002. In 2010, Godflesh reformed and in 2014 released their comeback album A World Lit Only by Fire. Hymns had a troubled production and was intended to be distinct departure from Godflesh's intensely regimented industrial sound to something more traditionally hard rock. It was the band's second and final album to feature a live drummer rather than a drum machine.

<i>Godflesh</i> (EP) 1988 EP by Godflesh

Godflesh is the debut extended play (EP) by English industrial metal band Godflesh. It was originally released in 1988 through Swordfish Records and later saw several reissues on Earache Records with two additional songs. An unexpected underground success, the eponymous EP made it onto the UK Indie Chart and peaked at position 20. Though not supported by any singles or music videos at the time, a fan-made video for "Avalanche Master Song" has since been made official by the band.

<i>Merciless</i> (EP) 1994 EP by Godflesh

Merciless is an EP released by industrial metal band Godflesh in 1994 through Earache and Columbia. In 1996, the EP was reissued along with the Selfless (1994) album as the compilation Selfless/Merciless.

<i>Messiah</i> (EP) 2000 EP by Godflesh

Messiah is an EP by industrial metal band Godflesh. The EP was originally recorded and mixed during 1994, and was released independently to members of the band's fan club on 5 December 2000 along with four remixes, which were created in 1995. After Justin Broadrick disbanded Godflesh, he reissued the material through Relapse Records on 1 April 2003.

Godflesh discography

The English industrial metal band Godflesh have released eight studio albums and six extended plays along with a number of singles, compilations and remix and live albums. The group formed in 1982 under the name Fall of Because, but they did not release any music until 1988 when Justin Broadrick and G. C. Green changed the project's name to Godflesh and recorded a self-titled debut EP. That EP, released through the independent label Swordfish, was met with underground success and has since been recognised as one of the first industrial metal releases, if not the first.

<i>Streetcleaner: Live at Roadburn 2011</i> 2013 live album by Godflesh

Streetcleaner: Live at Roadburn 2011 is the first live album from English industrial metal band Godflesh. The release was recorded on 14 April 2011 at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. Apart from being the group's debut live album, it was also the first time they played Streetcleaner in its entirety.

Xnoybis 1995 song performed by Godflesh

"Xnoybis" is a song by the industrial metal band Godflesh, taken from the album Selfless (1994). It was released in 1995 through Earache Records as a CD, and was also distributed as a promotional to radio stations.

<i>Life Is Easy</i> 1999 studio album by Fall of Because

Life Is Easy is a compilation album by Birmingham-based industrial metal group Fall of Because, compiling songs recorded in 1986 and 1987 before the band became Godflesh. Released on 24 August 1999 through Alleysweeper and distributed by Martin Atkins' label Invisible Records, Life Is Easy contains many songs that went on to be rerecorded and turned into Godflesh tracks.

Mothra (song)

"Mothra" is a song by 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.

References

  1. Downton, Chris. "Ivens interview by Chris Downton". Cyclic Defrost . Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  2. Bromley, Adrian (14 January 2002). "Hymns of Progression". Chronicles of Chaos . Retrieved 24 June 2013. What was going on at the time of my career with Godflesh was an identity crisis. I'd spent a lot of time making that album and it almost sounded like it was a remix of a remix album. There were so many changes going on and it was just a regurgitation of what I had done before. It was really fucking tiresome. I did a lot of that album by myself, in a very hermit-like state of mind. I was in a technologically obsessed state of mind and I lost sight of what Godflesh should be. The end result was something very eclectic and ambitious that didn't even sound like a Godflesh album. That album is the sound of an identity crisis and we did it in public. I am glad it wasn't promoted well.
  3. 1 2 Suarez, Gary. "Voidhead: Justin Broadrick on the End of Godflesh". Consequence of Sound . Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  4. 1 2 3 Schwarz, Paul. "Us and Them – Godflesh". Chronicles of Chaos . Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  5. 1 2 3 Bush, John. "Us and Them – Godflesh". Allmusic . Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  6. 1 2 Christe, Ian (October 1999). "Godflesh – Us and Them". CMJ . 74: 59. ISSN   1074-6978.
  7. Stewart-Panko, Kevin (14 July 2016). "Justify Your Shitty Taste: Godflesh – Us and Them". Decibel . Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  8. 1 2 Broadrick, Justin. "Avalanche: Godflesh Page 1 – New Album: 'Us and Them'". avalanche.demon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 1 May 1999. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  9. Gabler, Pete (July 1999). "Peeling Back the Flesh". Metal Hammer . Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  10. 1 2 Hollings, Ken (August 1999). "Soundcheck: Godflesh – Us and Them". The Wire (186): 50–51.