Thought Industry - Songs For Insects (Metal Blade) 1992
1. Third Eye" (4:28)
I got this CD with a batch of other CDs. Within a few days I was able to review all the other CDs. However, while I instantly liked this band, it took me a long time to begin to put anything down about them. Why? Because the are WIERD and hard to describe. Imagine a mixture of Psychotic Waltz, Voivod, Primus, Metallica, some jazz, some folk, some bizzare ambient crap, and you still won't get an idea of what to expect here. The story I heard is that Thought Industry were discovered by Jason Newstead during his years with Metallica who caught them live. and supposedly bragged them up to Metal Blade, helping to secure them a contract. So what of the music, well, it isn't a CD you can digest in only one listen. It's more technical than most of what is labeled progressive metal these days. There is a ton of experimentation, yet the songs still are there. In other words, this is not wankery for wankery sake. (If that makes sense.) The opening track, "Third Eye" is a bit deceptive in that it is slightly more straight forward than the rest of the CD. This particular track is heavy and delivered with a punk ethic. The remaining tracks twist and contort from the strangest angles, offering odd time singatures, heavy guitars and shouted vocals. If you can judge a book by it's cover, the Dali cover art speaks volumes. Unfortunately despite being on a relatively well known label and being a very original band, Thought Industry are relatively unknown. This just prooves that originality isn't always easily accepted. (thanks Shiney)
If Pink Floyd (circa 1968) played heavy metal in the the 1990's, this is what it might sound like. On their second release, Thought Industry have trimmed back the craziness only slightly. It seems the band added a bit more of a hardcore, punk drive to this one as well, although the musicianship goes far beyond anything I would label hardcore. Oberline seems to be using less clean vocals here as well, instead chosing the harsher screams that work so well with the controlled chaos that is this CD. As with the first CD, the lyrical approach is more of that psuedo-intellectual posturing. "Michigan Jesus" is a lesson in agnosticism, while "Gelatin" is a bit of left-wing propaganda. Whether this appeals to anyone is a matter of opinion. For me the lyrics take a back seat to the insane music. Each song is chock full of tempo changes, time changes, and dynamics. They obviously know they will never see mainstream success with such insane songwriting. Thought Industry are a musicians band. (thanks Shiney)
Thought Industry - Outer Space Is Just a Martini Away (Metal Blade) 1995
1. "Love Is America
Spelled Backwards" (3:10)
By the time "Outer Space Is Just a Martini Away" was recorded, the only remaining original members were Brent Oberlin (bass/vox)and Christopher Lee (guitar). This was to be their last metallic effort. "Outer Space" isn't quite as progressive and chaotic as the first two, and the band have added a bit of alternative and synth-pop to the mix as well. Apparently Thought Industry were trying to streamline their sound a bit to become more approachable to the average music listener. They have even included some almost metal power chords. However, the sound is still noisy, insane and unmistakably Though Industry. As such, I doubt that you'd ever hear tracks like "Pinto Award In Litterature" or "Atomic Stroller Helps None" on mainstream radio. This band truly must be experienced to be understood. They just can't be properly labeled or described in a few short sentences. Unfortunately this would be the last album of this nature for the band for what follows just isn't of the same calibur in my opinion.
Thought Industry - Black Umbrella (Metal Blade) 1997
1. "My Famous Mistake"
Uhhhhh, I just cannot seem to get into this one like I did the first three. While those were drastically different from one another, the one thing they had in common was that they were so chaotic, progressive and so completely different from the norm. "Black Unbrella" has the band paired down to only one original member, Brent Oberlin (bass/vox). Oberline cuts all the fat out of the music. Frankly what we are left with just does nothing for me. I am keeping this CD because it rounds out the collection, but I am certainly glad this wasn't the first album I had heard from Thought Industry or it might have been my last.
Thought Industry - Recruited to Do Good Deeds for the Devil (Metal Blade Records) 1998
1. "Hello, Lovey Dovey..."