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
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at [email protected].
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.