It is always the tool that makes it possible to grasp the reality...
October 8, 2019 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Tools You Can Trust were an industrial duo from Hulme, Manchester formed during the early eighties. Heavily influenced by Suicide, Duane Eddy and Link Wray, with lyrics as political as you would expect from that time and place, they had no hits anywhere.

"Active between 1982–88, TYCT mixed hard left polemic and Constructivist graphics with a minimal take on electronic body music and copious use of metal percussion. Like their more celebrated contemporaries Test Department, the group, which coalesced around the core duo of Ben Stedman and Rob Ward, interpreted industrial culture as a propaganda tool for combatting the draconian social and economic policies and political violence that marked the Thatcher era, especially with regard to the miners’ strike." (Compilation review at The Wire)

Working and Shopping, 1983

John Peel said, "Tools You Can Trust we chose because they'd made an excellent debut single and on the first couple of sessions they recorded Duane Eddy numbers for us – and as far as I'm concerned, anybody who does a Duane Eddy number is just about fine.”

Show Your Teeth, 1984

“The hillbilly howling of Alan Vega turned into a tight, monochrome cockney mantra giving an answer to the New York no wave. However, they claimed they came from the tradition that Link Wray and Duane Eddy had started. This space showed up in the rigid structure of his songs. They came from Manchester and they came before the dance scene emerged from Manchester. Anyway, you can dance to their songs, or rather hit and dance, that is."
Elvis Von Doom

Cut a New Seam, 1984

Trots, of course, but no-one's perfect.
posted by thatwhichfalls (5 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Oh hey, I have an old, old cassette of this that has Tools You Can Trust on it. I got the cassette long before you could just, like, find old music on the internet and there was basically zero possibility of ever finding a Tools You Can Trust single in Minneapolis Minnesota in 2002 so I never even really looked. But this is great! This is exciting! I loved that compilation!
posted by Frowner at 11:47 AM on October 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

Also trots are okay as long as they don't turn into Tories, right?
posted by Frowner at 11:49 AM on October 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

You had me at "heavily influenced by" Suicide and Link Wray. Thank you for making this post!
posted by nightrecordings at 1:47 PM on October 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh wow, bookmarked this when I saw it and only just now clicking the links to listen. Great stuff all round! Working And Shopping sounds similar but different to early Killing Joke. Show Your Teeth is just insistent in the way that a good song should be. Cut A New Seam has intensity and those cymbals.

It's always strange to hear an unfamiliar band of a particular era and think how I/we the listener can situate them how we please relative to known music a few decades forward or back, yet at the time maybe all they had to go by was a confidence in what they were making.

Cheers for the FPP thatwhichfalls, had never even heard of them obviously. Will def pass on and do some more digging myself!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 6:55 PM on October 16, 2019

Also, that Peel wiki is a Find in its own right. I'm gonna have a bloody good rummage!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 6:59 PM on October 16, 2019

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