Combining two separate live releases onto one disc, Thee City ov Tokyo/Thee City ov New York is a bit disjointed by its nature, in that the latter performance came from four years before the former, but it's still a good combined listen as it stands. The New York tracks, originally appearing on the New York Scum Haters tape, will be of interest to more than PTV fans given the participation of both Peter Christopherson and Geoff Rushton. The first adds tape and voice, the latter guitar and violin, and in combination with the P-Orridge/Alex Fergusson core and John Gosling makes for an extremely screwy and often sonically violent melange. Agonizing screams (and sometimes comical ones) snake through crackling, shuddering rhythms and heavy echo, while "Oi You Skinhead!" is a total death march Black Sabbath could be proud of. Then there's what sounds like a bunch of random samples from street vendors on "New York Sin," but somehow that seems only appropriate in context (as does the not-quite-a-cover version of the Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning"). The Tokyo tracks reflect the time of recording well enough -- a sprightly version of "I Like You" shows that the band's turn towards psych-pop/rock was an inspired touch -- but it's still hardly a conventional show by any means. An 11-minute run through the collage/jam of "Supermale" and the part-way-to-early-Roxy Music burble and moan of "E L-O-V-E U" show that much. There's also the utterly goofy (and not entirely patronizing, but still) "Japan Boy," apparently written for the show there and a merry enough little groove, though P-Orridge's slurred singing rather undercuts the effect.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett