Industrial rock crossed with a shot of punk and cold wave
Brussels foursome Thot have a whole host of EPs and LPs to their name. For the past decade, the group led by frontman Grégoire Fray, have been making a sort of industrial rock crossed with a shot of punk and cold wave. There’s a hint of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, even The Cure and The Undertones in the vocals, along with Killing Joke’s fury, and the raging romanticism of The God Machine. The band’s fourth album, Fleuve, was inspired by a quote from one of Brecht’s poems: “The headlong stream is termed violent, But the river bed hemming it in is Termed violent by no one.”
With a superb black and white shot of a swirling waterway as the cover art, their latest record stirs up and sweeps along many emotions. Although its concept album-style might not appear to match its 80s influences mentioned earlier, it sure does amaze. With track titles like Rhein, Rhone, Samara (the Latin name for the Somme. The group constantly plays with various rivers’ archaic designations, using them to evoke the primitive side of their music), and Bosphore, the Belgian band deliver an album that’s an epic ode to the European continent. In another nod to older times, it also features a Bulgarian choir, just like how Robin Proper-Sheppard once did during the fleeting days of The God Machine.
The often haunting vocals are full of character, and they swim amongst the turbulent swell of drums, guitars and bass, entering into melodic wave of a whole continent’s recollections that stir like rocky waters, and the unyielding force of nature.