Ever the master trolls, D.O.A. was not actually Throbbing Gristle’s third album (Lab fact check team says #2, after the mostly skippable Second Annual Report, which is actually their debut), nor was it their final report. Far from it - according to Chris Carter, Throbbing Gristle was just getting started: “D.O.A. showcased some of our strongest work and established the course we would head in.” There’s hints of the glossy sound they would embrace on 20 Jazz Funk Greats, but still plenty of abrasive noise, weird guitar jams and gross shit like “E-Coli” and of course “Hamburger Lady,” which features Genesis P-Orridge reciting a letter sent to the band from a hospital worker about a severely disfigured patient that nobody could bear to look at without losing their lunch. What I love about TG is how efficient and democratic it was - not some idealistic frontman bossing around three mediocre hacks, instead 4 equally innovative artists empowering themselves to change the course of music forever. This aspect of the group is best realized on this record which, alongside more collaborative material, includes four solo tracks from each band member highlighting their individual styles and foreshadowing their subsequent projects. Sleazy’s lurching sound art piece “Valley Of The Shadow Of Death” teases some of his later conceptual work with Coil, Gen’s “Weeping” is a bizarre ballad with a bluesy twang, and Cosey’s “Hometime” is the closest thing to a sonic representation of the slightly unsettling scene depicted on the cover. In stark contrast to nearly every track that plays before it is Carter’s Kraftwerkian synthpop epic “AB/7A,” one of TG’s most sublime and realized sides. Watch out for “Dead On Arrival” and “Death Threats” as well. This 2019 Mute edition comes on transparent blue-green vinyl and includes a large 8 page booklet with extensive liner notes and press clippings. Recommended.
- blue-green colored vinyl
- includes large format 8 page full color booklet
- digital download included
- originally released in 1978
- music label: Mute 2019
reviewed by hannibal chew 09/2019