Streetcleaner is the second release and the debut full-length album by British industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on November 13, 1989, on Earache Records. In 2017, the band released a live album playing Streetcleaner in its entirety.
Justin Broadrick stated that the drum machine sound was heavily influenced by hip hop artists in the late 80s, particularly the beat on "Christbait Rising": "It was my attempt at copying the rhythm sample on 'Microphone Fiend' by Eric B & Rakim". The album cover is a shot from the third hallucination scene in the movie Altered States.
Streetcleaner was recorded in several sessions. The first five songs were recorded at Soundcheck in Birmingham, from May–August, 1989. The next five songs (nine on the second CD issue) were recorded at Square Dance in Derby in May, 1989. The last four songs were originally recorded as the Tiny Tears EP, which the band wanted the label to release as their follow up to the Godflesh EP. Earache Records, however, pushed the band to record a full-length album instead, and the Tiny Tears EP never saw an independent release. The tracks were instead later appended as bonus tracks to the second CD issue of Streetcleaner. The sample used at the beginning of the title track is taken from a recording of an interrogation of convicted serial killerHenry Lee Lucas.
Streetcleaner was released on November 13, 1989, on Earache Records. It was remastered and re-released on June 21, 2010. This reissue includes a second disc of bonus material, which is composed of alternate mixes, live excerpts, guitar and drum machine demo tracks, and rehearsals.
Streetcleaner received positive reviews, and was hailed as a creative masterpiece. Ned Raggett of Allmusic said, "Streetcleaner doesn't so much grind as crawl, but it does with an awesome, bass-heavy power", and "Drum machines shatter, shudder, and downright assault, while the riffs the two (or three) cook up are bludgeoning". He also stated that "the band deliver everything with a pinpoint precision". In The Rough Guide to Rock, Richard Fontenoy said, "With the heaviest of metal riffs, slowed down to a crushing, claustrophobic pace and backed by a drum machine, Godflesh created a relentless, alienating wall of sound overlaid with feedback, samples, and Broadrick's misanthropic vocals." In The New Metal Masters, H. P. Newquist and Rich Maloof wrote, "Never before had one band incorporated metal, industrial, techno, and electronica into a single form—let alone one so sinister sounding." Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune said that while the vocals were typical of death metal, "the sonic landscape is something else, blending the vicious with the ethereal."