Nitzer Ebb are one of a few UK based bands that was a part of the 80’s and 90’s front guard Industrial/EBM efflorescence. I find that a bit surprising. Nearly all Industrial bands were from North America or were from Northern or Eastern Europe (Belgium, Germany) and otherwise skipped the UK entirely. All of the components were there but maybe they were too busy latching on to the burgeoning Manchester acid psychedelic of Happy Mondays and Stone Roses to have space for anything else. I am sure this is a gross generalization, but I suspect that I am not missing the mark by much. Outside of Nitzer Ebb, who, I might note, took on a German sounding, albeit, made-up name, I can’t conjure up a single UK Industrial/EBM band from the UK in the 80s and early 90s. Maybe I am missing something obvious, and please correct me if I am, I think this is a pretty interesting observations since I can’t think of any other genre (even grunge) with so little UK input. Discuss.

Nitzer Ebb have released their first album since the mid-90s with the 2009 release of “Industrial Complex”. Along with the album came a tour which I caught on its NYC stop. This is Promise recorded live on Nitzer Ebb’s 2009 tour.

[audio:|titles=Promises (Live)|artists=Nitzer Ebb]

Download: Nitzer Ebb – Promises (Live)


  1. Short of the pioneers like Coil, Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle, I have a hard time thinking of any UK bands either. Clock DVA and Test Dept were both from the UK but neither were as huge as Nitzer Ebb.

  2. Right. Since Throbbing Gristle, who are often cited as the godfathers of the genre
    are from the UK, you would think that the UK would have had a big head start by the
    80s and 90s…which reminds me, I need to post something from the Throbbing Gristle
    show I saw last year.

  3. Perhaps you could also add Meat Beat Manifesto to that select group of Industrial bands from England. Sure, they weren’t ALWAYS Industrial, but there’s no doubt that a bunch of their earlier stuff would fit into that ‘category’…

  4. Good call on MBM! Their early Wax Trax! stuff would easily qualify. The Helter Skelter/Radio Babylon 12″ was one of my favorite “industrial” releases ever.

  5. That’s just it. Nitzer Ebb are a UK band. I don’t know how/why they came up with Nitzer Ebb, but my theory is they wanted it sound German.

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