One thing that I always loved and look back at fondly was the wide variety of music that was featured every week on 120 Minutes. From straight up college rock to synth they seemed to run the gamut of what was going on in the indie and alternative world of music.

I am by no mean an expert on industrial music but I can get down with a few of the classic bands from back in the day. I have no idea where or when the term “industrial” was coined and I’d be willing to bet a lot of the bands that were originally classified as such probably didn’t care for or understand it but for some reason given the sounds that came from the majority of  bands I always seemed to think that the term kinda fit.

So who are some of the classic or defining bands of the genre? I know I have my view but I would be interested in hearing what some of the people reading this might have to say.

One band that I’ve always felt really defined the sound and scene were Nitzer Ebb. Not much of a video but check out the song  “Violent Playground”  off the killer release from 1987 “That Total Age.” From the stark cover of the album to the fast paced klang of the drums to me NE perfectly blended the energy of punk with pounding bass and hammer to anvil drum beats.

I know I’m only scraping the surface here of course there were dozens of other bands lumped into the scene and the roots of what would become known as industrial can probably be traced back to Kraftwerk or maybe even The Velvet Underground but when I think of industrial it’s hard for me not to immediately think of NE and especially the That Total Age LP.

Fuck it, I always liked this song too so I’m throwing this on up as well



  1. Throbbing Gristle was the band who coined thee phrase “indusrial music”. Also they started industrial records in 1976 with the tagline “industrial music for industrial people”. The label ran till 1981 featured bands like Cabaret Voltaire, Monte Cazazza and, Leather Nun.

  2. Oh and awesome article.

  3. Could be Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music (1975)…but I like to trace modern industrial to the transition Ministry made from synthpop in about 1983.

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