Genius

Tomorrow sees me heading to Nottingham to catch Pitchshifter who have broken their hiatus briefly and come out of probable retirement to play six English shows in six days as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the www•pitchshifter.com release.

The Rock City show is somewhat a homecoming gig, even though the band members are spread far and wide now, and obviously the preceding five shows have just been a warm up for the Nottinghamshire spectacular.

In my ‘Shifter post from two years ago I mentioned rumours and cryptic posts regarding the two decade anniversary, and here we nearly are. It’s already been stated that the set will lean heavily towards the .com release and a few interviews I’ve read also mention a track or two from the seventh album that never arrived. If you want to check some of it out have a look on their Bandcamp page.

I recently dropped on a vinyl copy of their debut Industrial while they were using the Pitch Shifter name, two distinct word rather than the conjoined name that came with the much more drum ‘n’ bass era. It’s such a brooding and melancholic affair. I was intrigued to see what I can expect on Saturday from some of the sets earlier in the week and I took a peek. I’m glad Triad is getting an airing, but I’d liked to have seen something from Industrial and Submit or something else from Desenstitized.

The last time I saw them on stage was what was their penultimate show prior to Monday at Damnation festival in Leeds in 2008. I can’t recall if it was billed as a farewell show or not.

As this tour is to celebrate a specific album Genius is obviously taken from www•pitchshifter.com, their first release for a major label after their departure from Earache Records. As this run isn’t promoting anything and doesn’t have to make some suits a shed load of cash it’s one show that I’ve really been looking forward to since it’s announcement.

https://youtu.be/sGcdcVblZ-8

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Triad

  

Today is a bank holiday in England – the last one for almost four months. No work, even though a high percentage of my customers are working today so it would have suited me to be in work, and it’ll prevent the chaos that I will be greeted with on Tuesday. 

So as my alarms usually go off from 3:40am that means today I can have a long lie in right? It’s just gone 7am and I’ve been up nearly an hour already, so a lie in of sorts. I haven’t got a great deal of things to do at this time of the day, I might take Ozymandias for a short walk – but first a little bit of me time. 

Carrying on with the industrial metal theme for a few more posts say hello to Nottingham oiks Pitchshifter. Formed in 1989 the original trio and their drum machine found a home on Peaceville Records for their debut album Industrial. 

Their next three releases were handled by Earache Records the label that Birmingham duo and their drum machine, better known as Godflesh, also called home. Both bands are considered to be innovators of this genre of music. 

Originally their dirge of down tuned guitars and programmed drum beats was a pretty bleak affair. In later years with the addition of a real breathing drummer and mainstream  attention they got much more melodic and eventually a lot of the metal influences dissipated and they were almost a drum and bass outfit. 

They’re a band I saw nowhere near enough over the years. My first encounter was at the Wheatsheaf here in Stoke in 1993. I remember them still having the drum machine when they played, but I can’t recall if anything from Desensitized – especially this track – was played live. The album surfaced in December of that year and I saw them in April, so maybe not. 

The last time I saw them was in Leeds during the annual Damnation Festival in 2008, their penultimate on stage performance. This was as part of a brief comeback, but they have been on hiatus for the last seven years. 

I did have a ticket to see them when they played second fiddle to Bad Religion in Manchester, but for various reasons I never made it. Hopefully there will be a chance in the future to see them as there are rumours of live shows early in 2018 which could mark the twentieth anniversary of Pitchshifter.com. Watch this space in 18 months time then.  

Desenstitized was still a harsh and dissonant affair and especially with tracks like Triad and (A Higher Form of) Killing they are still very menacing, but unlike its predecessor this album is much easier to listen to. A much improved and polished production helped with that though. 

This video looks remarkably similar to March of the Pigs by Nine Inch Nails, the band playing in a minimalistic white room and trashing their gear, but Mr. Reznor’s video was issued the following year.