The Rich Man's Eight Track Tape
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Top Customer Reviews
Even among the thrash and splutter of 80's hardcore punk, Big Black stand out as being especially maleovolent. Steve Albini's clanging nails-on-a-chalkboard guitar sound makes most nu-metal types sound like Donovan in comparison, whilst the first person illustrations of the sickness endemic in society are chilling, worrying, but often blackly humourous (check any of the band's album liner notes!).
The attraction of this compilation, and indeed of the band themselves is firstly and foremostly the sheer vicious blast of sound present. The songs are mostly fine too, but as with early Sonic Youth, this is really secondary to the noise itself.
Jordan Minnesota is as disturbing and uncompromising an opener as has ever been released, and cannot be deemed pleasant listening, even for noise fetishists. Albini acts out the role of a child abuser, driving home his disgust at the sickness of mankind far harder than saying "it's wrong, don't do it" could ever do.
The almost danceable 'Passing Complexion' and 'Big Money' are equally forceful, if rather less clear in their intentions. The album's real ace card, and Big Black's finest moment however is track four:'Kerosene'.Read more ›
Steve Albini, has in his usual charming way, made no secret of his disgust for the CD format (though it's never stopped him producing many an album for bands who don't share his luddite aesthetic) and there are apocryphal tales of the band producing two masters tape for every album, one which was handed over in pristine condition for the L.P format while the other was used as Frisbee, beer mat and quite possibly to scrape the ice off car windows and would be used for the CD. Needless to say there are those who claim the vinyl versions of their albums are superior in sound quality though I must confess I can discern no difference. Albini would probably spit in my face.
Which brings me to "Eight Track" which comprises their incredible "Atomiser" album (minus the less than essential track "Strange Things) the patchily superb "Headache" EP and as a real bonus the bands version of "Heartbeat", originally released on a 7" single? Big Black were always a formidable proposition with their relentless pulverising drum machine (named "Roland") the incredibly bottom heavy bass and most importantly the clanging fractious guitar sound. Albinis snarled slightly whiny but paradoxically aggressive vocals and the sometimes puerile, sometimes provocative always bleakly humorous lyrics topped it off.Read more ›
compare em to Shellac, comapare em to Rapeman. ultimate punk, the birth of grunge
set me on fire
Most Recent Customer Reviews
... buy this album.
If you already possess this album/Atomiser then buy the "Nothing short of Total War" V/A sampler. Read more
I bought this cd after a friend played me "Passing Complexion", which is a fast, noisy and very danceable commentary on mixed racial heritage. Read morePublished on 24 Feb. 2010 by P. A. Glover
Steve Albini has a talent for making metal music. Not HEAVY metal; just music that sounds like tungsten steel being torn to pieces by hideously powerful forces. Read morePublished on 31 May 2009 by Patrick Neylan