Revolting Cocks – “Big Sexy Land” (1986)

It’s kind of funny that just a week or so after starting this blog I’m posting on a second industrial album, given that prior to a week or so ago I probably didn’t even own one. But one of the funny things about going through the bins at record stores is that you often run across stuff that looks interesting and you pick it up on a lark. That’s kind of what happened here – I picked up the band’s No Devotion EP, and Holly and I both liked it, so when we ran across this the other day we picked it up too.

Now, I’ve heard a little industrial over the years, but not much. In high school one of my best friends was way into Skinny Puppy and Ministry, so I heard some of this stuff at his place. Mind you, at that time I was listening to a lot of AC/DC, Def Leppard, and Led Zeppelin, so I really wasn’t quite prepared for this type of music. Let’s be honest – it freaked me the hell out. Sitting in a dark bedroom closed off to the world with nothing but a lava lamp going and blasting Skinny Puppy LPs was a pretty intense experience for little sheltered ol’ me, who didn’t even have a mullet yet. While I never really gained an appreciation for industrial, he also turned me on to a band called Metallica, so for that I certainly owe him one.

Big Sexy Land was the Cocks’ first album, released in 1985. The band itself was a sort of industrial super-group, comprised of musicians already established in the genre. The music has some really nice beats, and it doesn’t come across as dark as some other bands. Of course, part of the reason for that is it’s almost 30 years old, and we’ve already seen elements of industrial music incorporated into more mainstream fare. Some of these tracks could certainly have made it onto turntables spinning at certain types of dance clubs or raves, and probably still could today.

Overall I think Big Sexy Land could be a good intro to industrial for someone looking to see what the sound is like. It’s not really dark or freaky, and musically it’s very good. Then again, my guess is industrial aficionados would probably sneer at me as an ignorant outsider and label me a tourist. And maybe I am. But I do like me some Big Sexy Land. Now if only I could find some glow sticks…