photo & text by nacrowe
by the time i discovered during my senior year of high school the DANCEABLE INDUSTRIAL group MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT through the GREGG ARAKI film NOWHERE (FINE LINE, 1997), my conception INDUSTRIAL MUSIC had expanded beyond the popular ALTERNATIVE band NINE INCH NAILS into something else entirely. along with the more INTROSPECTIVE and SUBDUED SKINNY PUPPY, the more CONFRONTATIONAL and explicitly METAL-focused KMFDM, as well as the sonic deconstruction-minded originators in THROBBING GRISTLE, INDUSTRIAL MUSIC proved to be a fruitful vehicle for a whole host of artists with varying POLITICAL, ARTISTIC and MUSICAL agendas.
for MY LIFE WITH THE HTRILL KILL KULT, that agenda seemed to be a tongue-firmly-in-cheek rhythmic exercise in RUSS MEYER-themed SEXPLOITATION cinema samples. such a pleasure agenda is more than apparent on their third release SEXPLOSION! (WAX TRAX!, 1991) with its moans of ECSTASY and SEDUCTIVE purrs. this record through tracks like "SEX ON WHEELS," "LEATHERSEX," "A MARTINI BUILT FOR 2," "SEXPLOSION," and "THE INTERNATIONAL SIN SET," seems to be a celebration of all things SEX and INSTANT GRATIFICATION. its compelling to me since my understanding previous to MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT was that INDUSTRIAL MUSIC was in essence the pursuit of a musical lexicon devoid of humanity. here the same deconstructive elements are used to provide a PHANTASMAGORIC and almost psychotically PSYCHEDELIC experience of SEXUAL GRATIFICATION devoid of an object. just the aural enjoyment of PLEASURE and ELATION as an INTELLECTUAL CONSTRUCT and organizing principle.
in other words MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT are thematically concerned with HUMAN CONNECTION, which is counterintuitive and even antithetical to the previous almost NIHILISTIC ethos of INDUSTRIAL MUSIC as i understood it. my assumption was always that these bands were concerned with exploring the outer reaches of one's social and psychic ISOLATION from society, or even from their own tenuous grip on their own sense of identity. to construct a sonic aesthetic utilizing unassociated identifiers of PHYSICAL PLEASURE is pretty INGENIOUS and signifies the potential of future HUMAN CONNECTION and even GRATIFICATION from that interaction. which is a long-winded way of saying that MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT remain such an ICONOCLASTIC band decades on in my opinion. and SEXPLOSION! is arguably the high-water mark of their career and well worth checking out, regardless of your familiarity or relative interest in INDUSTRIAL MUSIC. it is that good.