Throat on Throbbing Gristle: Why I Love

Throat is a Rock band from Turku, Finland. Their website (and social media) bears the URL They’re a band that buys into the philosophy of “making a racket.” A philosophy to which they stubbornly adhere while subverting the noise/industrial/experimental genre. Their most recent album, We Must Leave You is out now on Svart Records and Bandcamp.

Jukka Mattila of Throat joins us for the second Why I Love we’ve published this month on Throbbing Gristle.

Throbbing Gristle is the one that almost got away. Being born the same year that 20 Jazz Funk Greats was released, it would be a stretch to claim witnessing or even hearing the band during their active years. When diving head first into the international noise and industrial scene in the 90s, the name Throbbing Gristle was everywhere yet their sound remained somehow elusive despite already being quite well versed in ‘difficul’” sounds such as Japanese noise and the European power electronics/post-industrial acts of the time. ”We need some discipline here” – the classic TG line goes, it somehow felt that was exactly what I was missing in their works, it all felt a bit too all over the place.

Oddly enough re-discovering rock music after more experimental and electronic things was what it took for Throbbing Gristle to finally click. Discovering the intent and vibration between the notes. The racket beyond the actual racket. The violence in the silence. You might think of it as a paradox for such a discovery after returning to more uniform styles of music, but that’s how it happened. The Second Annual Report, Heathen Earth, 20 Jazz Funk Greats – the greatness was finally revealed.

Perhaps you can find the inspiration drawn from TG in Throat just as mentioned above: in the racket beyond the racket. No matter how strict Throat’s approach to musical genres may have seemed to those outside the band, there has always been a strive to move towards something previously unexplored. This applies to the music as well as the themes dealt with in the lyrics. Exploring the unexplored could definitely be applied to Throbbing Gristle as well, especially considering their pioneering status in what later became the industrial/noise movement. Just listen to We Hate You (Little Girls) and Hot On The Heels Of Love (two all-time favorites!) back-to-back and you can’t say TG had tunnel vision.

Listening to the albums in 2023 may give an impression of technical clumsiness or haphazard writing, but that’s exactly one of the most inspiring elements when it comes to Throbbing Gristle. The best sonic solutions come through accidents (happy or unhappy, it varies) and albeit the lyrical execution of a classic track such as Very Friendly may have been outdone by later subversive artists, its power and sordid vibe remains.

Same thing goes for the album artwork where Throbbing Gristle hardly ever opted for mere censorship fodder. Perversion and political/social subversiveness was more than often implied, but the final interpretation was given to the person holding the record in their hands. The minimalism of The Second Annual Report will always appeal to me, much like some of the more typography based Whitehouse album covers. 20 Jazz Funk Greats”is obviously another favorite with the seemingly innocent group photo taken at Beachy Head in Sussex yet the picked location already carried an ominous history.

Listen to Throbbing Gristle.

Listen to Throat.

You should find them next to each other in your record collection.

Here’s Throat’s Heaven Hanged from the We Must Leave You album:

Our thanks to Jukka for adding further insight into what makes Throbbing Gristle such an important band.

Throat photo by Aleks Talve.

Throat online: Official Website / Facebook / Instagram / Youtube

You can read more from our extensive archive of Why I Love pieces from a wide array of artists on an even wider array of subjects, here.

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