It's a big year for Godflesh fans. I suppose I could have seen it coming with the excellent Godflesh reissues that Earache started cranking out a year ago, but it was still a little surprising when Justin Broadrick announced that he would be reuniting his legendary industrial metal band in 2010. Surprising, and pretty fucking terrific. And right on the heels of that announcement came word that Earache would be reissuing the band's defining statement, 1989's essential Streetcleaner, an album that has gone down in the books as one of the heaviest albums of all time. And hardcore Godflesh fans are going to be sated; remastered by Broadrick and sounding more bludgeoning and apocalyptic than ever, this new edition of Streetcleaner also comes with a second disc full of rare Streetcleaner era material, including the original mixes of the first side of the album; two punishing live songs from a performance in Geneca in 1990; raw, blown out rehearsal recordings of "Pulp", "Dream Long Dead" and "Christbait Rising" that fucking destroy; and the early guitar/drum machine demo tracks for the Tiny Tears Ep. In addition, the new Streetcleaner booklet features excellent new liner notes from Metal Hammer scribe Jonathan Selzer, and some minor but illuminating liner notes from Broadkrick himself. Essential for any Godflesh fan that's needed this classic album in their collection.
Here's the old Crucial Blast review for Streetcleaner: What needs to be said about Streetcleaner that hasn't already been put on the books? We all revel in the enormous blissed-out sludge and shoegazy metallic rock of Jesu, and I'm a pretty solid mark for anything that Justin Broadrick has had his hands in over the years (Final, Ice, Techno Animal, etc.), but it all comes back to THIS. After forming the pioneering grindcore band Napalm Death and recording a portion of their first album Scum, Broadrick made his way through the industrial rock of Head Of David and then hooked up with G.C. Green to form Godflesh. I remember when Streetcleaner came out in 1989, it was possibly the heaviest thing I had ever heard up to that point, a crushing concoction of booming drum machine beats that moved from tick-tock mechanical rhythms and militant martial snare beats to crushing breakbeats, with bludgeoning, simplistic riffs and squealing harmonics welded together above the pounding percussive attack and huge bass-heavy bottom end. Everything about this record was terrifying: the cover artwork of legions of crucified men in front of a towering wall of fire, a still taken from Ken Russell's legendary Altered States, to the rigid, fearsome music and thoroughly unfriendly vocals inside, and the song titles that evoke grim images of dystopian horror and technological annihilation like "Christbait Rising", "Like Rats", and "Locust Furnace". Definitely THE album to start with if you are a newcomer to Godflesh's nuclear-strength industrial metal. This CD version of Streetcleaner also contains four bonus songs that were initially intended for an EP that never materialized, included here at the end.