Throbbing Gristle originally disbanded in 1981, and by the time they reunited in 2004, they had inspired legions of experimental and alternative acts, in addition to giving rise to an entire genre named after their record label, Industrial Records. The Taste of TG was the second attempt to sum up their career in a single disc, following the Rough Trade-issued Greatest Hits in 1980. The only overlap between the two collections comes in the form of the group's three most recognizable songs: the utopian synth pop anthem "United," the groundbreaking proto-techno classic "Hot on the Heels of Love," and the fascinating yet utterly disturbing "Hamburger Lady." Other than those essential tracks, the release includes album cuts, non-LP singles and B-sides, and excerpts from the group's myriad live recordings. The Taste of TG doesn't attempt to replace or improve upon the previous compilation; it just provides a deeper exploration of the group's legacy, showcasing some of their brighter, more melodic moments as well as plunging into the depths of their dark side. "Distant Dreams, Pt. 2" and "Walkabout" are both chiming synth pop tunes which spotlight TG at their friendliest. Then there are cuts like the hilariously perverse and icky "Something Came Over Me" and the garage rock nightmare "Zyklon B Zombie," both of which bolster their shock-value lyrics with driving, energetic rhythms. Beyond that, there's harder-to-digest material taken from the group's highly controversial, confrontational live performances, often including Genesis P-Orridge's harsh screeching or ranting over a din of atonal feedback and shuddering pulsations. There's plenty of excellent TG material absent from both Taste and Greatest Hits, particularly "Discipline" and "Very Friendly," but both are equally great introductions to the group.
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AllMusic Review by Paul Simpson