For Godflesh's second formal album, a new member was recruited to replace Paul Neville (though in an odd twist he appears on the first three minutes of "Love, Hate (Slugbaiting)," in fact a live sample of the old band he, Broadrick, and Green used to be in, the Fall of Because). The choice was an inspired one -- Robert Hampson of Loop was then dissolving that band and beginning his initial work as Main. Loop and Godflesh had already toured together and put out a very rare split single where each band covered the other, a mutual appreciation society that led to Hampson's recruitment. He only appears on half the album's tracks, but his efforts on "I Wasn't Born to Follow" and "Don't Bring Me Flowers" slot in very nicely with the band's philosophy of overwhelming if sometimes beautiful noise (the intro to the latter is actually quite lovely). Broadrick himself expressed disappointment with both Pure and the Cold World EP, as both were recorded on eight-track machines and didn't have the full room for experimenting that he wanted. The end results are still worthy stuff, though, even if opening song "Spite" has one of the jauntiest hip-hop breaks yet used by the band. In terms of grinding guitars and shouted vocals, though, it's pure Godflesh ire. The title track makes an even more explicit nod to the culture of turntables and breakbeats, taking rhythms from Eric B. & Rakim's "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em." "Mothra" got selected as a single, and in ways it is surprisingly commercial for the band, with a memorable main riff and drumming that for once doesn't sound like it's out to break bones and shred eardrums. "Pure II" concludes the album with a monstrous, 20-minute track not far off from Broadrick's work as Final, only with even more of a threat, while a slow drum machine hits like a distant cannon.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett