Big Black
Songs About Fucking


5.0
classic

Review

by Haz USER (6 Reviews)
November 26th, 2011 | 50 replies


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist


Big Black were an American rock band from Evanston, Illinois. Founded by the infamous Steve Albini in 1981, the group were an influential and significant player in the independent and underground music scenes of the decade with their unique brand of DIY material, which has been described at times as noise rock, punk and a precursor to industrial rock. The truth of this however can only be described as uniquely Big Black, never before or since has a band fashioned quite the same cocktail of abrasive sounds, and never before or since was there an album quite like Songs About ***ing.

Well, there is the group's other album Atomizer of course. As much as for some their lonely full length debut winds up feeling like the neglected masterpiece of the pair, Songs About ***ing is the Big Black album. The one with the cover art and title that demands attention, the one with the iconic, landmark status in 80's independent music that ensures it a place on all those critic's must hear album lists. It is well trodden ground that this is regarded as sleazy rock and roll at its finest, gentlemen. The beauty of all this, is that for once you can believe the hype.

Albini and Santiago Durango are in charge of guitars here, bassist Jeff Pezzati anchoring rhythms by way of one of the most important components of what makes Big Black sounds the way they do, a Roland TR-606 drum machine. Credited as "Roland" in the liner notes, the mechanical, piledriving rhythm section gives the album a sense of drive which is not unlike a brick to the head. Slicing in, out and around are Albini and Durango's distinctive guitars characterised by a sharp, metallic tone with virtually no low end, the soul of Big Black residing in these unique aural cleavings. The most impressive thing here by far is the remarkable demonstration of control over what could devolve into a pile of mush, dynamics utilised to their fullest with so much subtlety rewarded through relistening that it only seems natural that Albini would go on to become such a high profile producer as he did. His lyrics and vocal delivery with Big Black are sardonic in the best way, with a wonderful streak of black, transgressive humor.

Every track on Songs About ***ing nails it. It is one of those rare albums which has an exceptional character and timeless reputation that could never have it accused of being generic, love it or hate it. The restrained production subtleties bring the group across as sounding monstrous and larger than life at times, although some accustomed to today's hardcore and heavy metal bands may take issue with this as not being direct, or "hard" enough. Admirers of Big Black will always vehemently disagree, though.



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user ratings (357)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Neoteric (4.5)
Albini's best piece of work and a complete classic....


Comments:Add a Comment 
LoveYerBrain
November 26th 2011


89 Comments


b& rules

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2011


7276 Comments


How is this even a thing.

Digging: U2 - Songs of Innocence

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 27th 2011


10594 Comments


Lol Irving. This is actually good man!

Ignimbrite
November 27th 2011


5339 Comments


http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/42439/Better-Days-Songs-About-Drinking/

wut

Digging: This Will Destroy You - Another Language

ShadowRemains
November 27th 2011


20712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

terrific album

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Relinquished
November 27th 2011


25054 Comments


awesome album, great job haz

lancebramsay
November 27th 2011


1585 Comments


Your review convinced me to check it...
POS

Haz
November 27th 2011


268 Comments


wut


Kid 606 had Songs About Fucking Steve Albini, The Copyrights and The Dopamines had Songs About Fucking Up.

Maize
November 27th 2011


154 Comments


Steve Albini: IRL Troll

Haz
November 27th 2011


268 Comments


How do you come to that conclusion, Maize?

Lyrical content aside he often struck me as treating everything he says with the utmost seriousness. Mind you I haven't researched him that deeply.

Haz
November 27th 2011


268 Comments


I doubt he's like Boyd Rice or something

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 27th 2011


7391 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Awesome album and great review.

Digging: Lo-Pan - Colossus

porch
November 27th 2011


8460 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

aww yeah

Ire
January 9th 2012


41779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

steve albini was the fade of the 80s

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2012


50375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

songs about cunting

Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 9th 2012


50375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

And he didn't go on the internet


balcaen
January 27th 2012


3183 Comments


shit, anyone else think this was an obvious pre-cursor to You're a Woman, I'm a Machine?

balcaen
January 28th 2012


3183 Comments


this is better imo but yeah i heard DFA1979 first and then heard this and it's the first thing that came to find
angry white people

ApplicationToHeaven
January 28th 2012


1561 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

annoyingly inconsistent album

Ire
January 28th 2012


41779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nah



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