A sly and nasty riposte to domestication, Constant Shallowness Leads to Evil is a bloody-minded record, at times sounding like a cattle-prod surge delivered directly to the spine. A stocktaking of the previous four decades of outsider blare -- from La Monte Young, to Metal Machine Music, to even the earliest Butthole Surfers -- Coil soils their pawn-shop electronics in blood and sweat, a muscular return to industrial roots. The nominal normal track, "I Am the Green Child," stumbles along like Krautrock coupled with the Exorcist soundtrack. Singer John Balance intones a pretentious and portentous text, voice almost drown in a thick gauze of processing. After this wheezing discourse crawls to a halt, several tracks follow like the lament of a dying washing machine. Finally, in a curious silence thrown into even sharper relief by what follows, Balance sings a few more lines about death and all hell breaks loose, a torrential downpour of upended machine jabber. From the opening of gallows sine waves to the final 16 minutes of revolving noise loops, Coil are implacably devoted to proving their aphorism "persistence is all."
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jess Harvell