D.o.A.: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle

Throbbing Gristle

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D.o.A.: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle Review

by Paul Simpson

Actually the group's second official full-length, D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle is nearly as harsh and uncompromising as The Second Annual Report. While both albums are a mixture of live and studio material, D.o.A is much more stylistically varied -- rather than focusing on multiple versions of the same pieces (plus a 20-minute film score), each of the 13 tracks is distinct, ranging from captured conversations to thoroughly composed creations. The four bandmembers each contribute a solo piece; Peter Christopherson's "Valley of the Shadow of Death" and Cosey Fanni Tutti's "Hometime" are both detached, atmospheric spoken word collages, while Genesis P-Orridge's "Weeping" is a sorrowful anti-love song. By sharp contrast, Chris Carter's "AB/7A" is a vibrant, chipper slice of futuristic instrumental synth pop, almost fit to soundtrack a Tomorrowland ride. TG's more accessible side was previewed with the single "United," which reached the U.K. Indie charts and remains one of their most celebrated moments. The song is listed third on D.o.A's track listing, but it perversely appears as a fast-forwarding tape of the track, lasting all of 16 seconds! One of the group's other calling cards, the gloriously unsettling "Hamburger Lady," makes its first appearance here. The song tells the gruesome tale of a burn victim kept alive via life support in a hospital, set to a slow, queasy rhythm and distorted echo effects. Elsewhere, the album displays flashes of TG's live energy, with P-Orridge caterwauling over the brief "Hit by a Rock" and "Blood on the Floor," and "Dead on Arrival" being a trippy, electrifying group jam. Typical of the band's morbid sense of humor, they also include a track consisting of death threats left on their answering machine. One of TG's grimmest, most disturbing records, D.o.A is easily one of their most compelling.

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