Front Line Assembly > Caustic Grip

| Third Mind Records TM9116 2/TMCD60[UK] | CD 1990 Wax Trax WAXCD 7146 [US] | | CD 1992 Roadrunner RR 9116-2 [US] | LP 1990 Wax Trax WAX 7146 [US] |
Released on CD and 12" LP.


01 Resist (5:25)
02 Victim (5:06)
03 Overkill (5:23)
04 Forge (4:21)
05 Provision (6:09)
06 Force Fed (4:41)
07 Iceolate (5:13)
08 Threshold (5:11)
09 Mental Distortion (6:50)
10 The Chair (3:26)

Tracks 9 and 10 on CD only.

Written and Produced by Bill Leeb & Rhys Fulber. Mixed by Greg Reely. Conception and formulation: Front Line Assembly. Mix and manipulation: Greg Reely. Studio reinforcement: Ken Marshall and Steve Royce. "Provision" guitar execution: Jeff Stoddard. Front Line Assembly: Bill Leeb and Rhys Fulber. Computer images: Christian Mumenthaler. Design: Sleeping Partner.


I actually remember the first time I heard Caustic Grip. It was at my best friends house in the autumn of 1990 (ok, I was young (15) so I'm not completely sure about the dates), and he had just bought it without even hearing it. We'd just read some very good reviews about it and thought it would be cool to explore some new music. At that time me and my friend were mostly listening to Depeche Mode, Erasure and Pet shop boys, and we hadn't really begun to get into more "extreme" music. Thus, at our first listening, I really thought it sucked. Too much noise and screaming for me, I said and didn't think I'd ever hear the record again.

A few weeks later I was at my friends house again and he said that he had listened a few times to the record and he said it was actually quite good. So I gave it quite a few more tries and it grew on me like a bad case of acne. I thought it was the best goddamn album ever released, and the thing is, I almost feel that way even today, because to me, this album is the best thing FLA has ever produced. Nope, not even TNI beats it in my opinion, although it's very very close.

Ok, so "Overkill" and "Force Fed" aren't really much good unless you are very angry at someone, but listen to "Victim" loud and get scared by Bill's voice, sounding as it has never sounded since, or Bill's complete insanity on "Mental Distortion" (which admittedly is a b-side but anyway). On the whole I think Bill's voice is used to a much bigger extent here than ever since

"Threshold" is agonizingly beautiful and here Bill is almost singing for the first time. Truly excellent. The singles "Provision" and "Iceolate" need no mention but I'd just like to say that the 12" version of "Provision" is pure heaven.

The combination of hard pounding beats, distorted voices and electronic sounds with very good melodies is not groundbreaking (Skinny Puppy etc etc) but it is the way they take all the good elements and throw them together with their own ideas that makes it so interesting.

I think this album exudes more energy and talent than almost any other record I have, and it sure changed my life. By now I have almost every release (a bit over 50 records, believe it or not) by Bill and his cohorts, and a good assortment of other electronic music ranging from electro via synthpop via techno to "industrial metal" as well as some guitar oriented music (Radiohead!!).

But this is the one that started it all, and ever since then it seems like FLA has been monitoring me for what type of music i like. When I was into hard quitars they released "Millennium", and now when I'm discovering more techno they release the excellent "FLAvour of the weak".

Reviewed by Johan Carlsson aka Industrial Ruccola Salad

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    Last updated 2011-08-26 14:35:24 by: epidemic27.

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