Sunday, November 29, 2009

What to Do Tonight: Nitzer Ebb

Posted By on Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 8:38 AM

Although the origins of industrial rock can and will continue to be argued ad nauseam, few avid listeners discount the impact of Nitzer Ebb. Often mistaken for Germans because of their name and the sound they make, the British duo helped design a sonic archetype within the genre based on relentless, rigid rhythms and venomous, militant vocals. Those elements came together in rare form on 1987’s That Total Age, which featured the club hit “Let Your Body Learn” (which reappeared in remixed form in the Grand Theft Auto IV videogame). Despite their primitive sound and austere mannerisms, Nitzer Ebb laid down the foundation that contemporary acts like VNV Nation and Combichrist would build upon. Although Nitzer Ebb remained active through the mid-’90s, subsequent albums drifted further from the primal sound they helped innovate. They went silent as a band after 1995’s “Big Hit,” when their record company dropped them. Bon Harris and Douglas McCarthy made occasional appearances on other bands’ records (most notably, McCarthy worked with Depeche Mode’s Alan Wilder in Recoil). Following a few blips of activity in Europe and stateside, Nitzer Ebb are now in the middle of their first widescale U.S. tour in three years and their first Cleveland gig in 14 years. The Industrial Complex Tour promises a return to form. Encoder and Ludwyg open at 7 p.m. at Peabody’s Down Under (2045 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999, peabodys.com). Tickets: $20 advance, $23 day of show. — Norm Narvaja

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