Streetcleaner (album)

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For the concept, see street cleaner.
Studio album by Godflesh
Released November 13, 1989 (1989-11-13)
Recorded May–August 1989
Genre Industrial metal
Length 66:22
Label Earache, Combat
Producer J. K. Broadrick, G. C. Green
Godflesh chronology

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".[1] 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 killer Henry 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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune 3/4 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly B+[4]

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",[2] and "Drum machines shatter, shudder, and downright assault, while the riffs the two (or three) cook up are bludgeoning".[2] He also stated that "the band deliver everything with a pinpoint precision".[2] 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."[5] 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."[6] 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."[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by J. K. Broadrick and G. C. Green. Tracks 6 to 9 also written by Paul Neville.

No. Title Length
1. "Like Rats" 4:29
2. "Christbait Rising" 7:00
3. "Pulp" 4:16
4. "Dream Long Dead" 5:19
5. "Head Dirt" 6:09
6. "Devastator" 3:20
7. "Mighty Trust Krusher" (On some releases, tracks 6 and 7 are combined into one) 5:26
8. "Life Is Easy" 4:51
9. "Streetcleaner" 6:42
10. "Locust Furnace" 4:45
Total length: 52:21
CD-only bonus tracks (Tiny Tears EP)
No. Title Length
11. "Tiny Tears" 3:25
12. "Wound" 3:05
13. "Dead Head" 4:09
14. "Suction" 3:22
Total length: 66:22


Year Publication Country Accolade Rank
1995 Alternative Press United States "Top 99 of '85 to '95" 34 [7]
1998 Alternative Press United States "The 90 Greatest Albums of the '90s" 79 [8]
2000 Kerrang! United Kingdom "200 Albums for the Year 2000 (Industrial)" 5 [9]
2000 Terrorizer United Kingdom "100 Most Important Albums of the Eighties" * [10]
2002 Revolver United States "The 69 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time" 66 [11]
"*" denotes an unordered list.



Chart (1989) Peak
UK Indie Chart[12] 19


  1. ^ Rock-A-Rolla Magazine. Jun–Jul 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d Raggett, Ned. "Streetcleaner Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Kot, Greg (February 21, 1991). "Godflesh Streetcleaner (Combat/Earache...". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Streetcleaner". Entertainment Weekly. January 1991.  Accessed March 19, 2010.
  5. ^ Fontenoy, Richard (2003). "The Godfathers: Godflesh". In Buckley, Peter. The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. p. 432. 
  6. ^ Newquist, H. P.; Maloof, Rich (May 2004). The New Metal Masters. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 38–39. 
  7. ^ "Alternative Press – Top 99 Of '85 to '95". Alternative Press. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Alternative Press – The 90 Greatest Albums of the '90s". Alternative Press. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Kerrang! – 200 Albums For The Year 2000". Kerrang!. Retrieved April 16, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Terrorizer – 100 Most Important Albums of the Eighties". Terrorizer. Retrieved April 16, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Revolver – The 69 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Revolver. Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  12. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Retrieved September 5, 2014.