Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of



by Zebra USER (177 Reviews)
November 8th, 2007 | 7 replies

Release Date: 1984 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Killdozer know how to rock.

Although underground alternative rock bands such as The Butthole Surfers, Slint, Big Black, and The Jesus Lizard started garnering minor acclaim in the late 80's, Killdozer was one of first successful “alt/noise-rock” groups to get going on Touch & Go Records. Notorious for signing raw, gritty, and creepy bands Touch & Go struck gold when they signed Killdozer onto their roster in 1983. Like the groups that preceded them on Touch & Go, Killdozer set the tone with their thundering mix of noise rock, punk, and sludge-metal. The foursomes debut album Intellecuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite is their best record to date sporting some of the nastiest and abrasive music to come out of that time period.

Intellecuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite features a whopping total of nineteen tracks that span from a minute and a half to five minutes long. Lead guitarist Bill Hobson showcases his range by playing piercing guitar riffs in one song, and slow, slimy sludge-metal type chords in another. Tracks range from nasty, in your face punk anthems (“Burning House”, “River”) to slow, thundering metal inspired rockers (“Farmer Johnson”, “Revelations” to country-blues influenced (“Cinammon Girl.”) Killdozer don’t show a huge amount of variety or creativity but they show enough variation throughout the nineteen tracks to keep things from becoming monotonous.

Another unique aspect about Killdozer is Tom Hazelmeyer’s erratic vocal delivery. Combined with the sludgy guitar riffs and muffled drum hits Hazelmeyer growls in a deep, displeasing, almost goofy voice. His raspy voice is kind of like a combination of Tim Armstrong and B.B King. When you combine his deep welping with the sharp rhythm section and razorblade-esque guitars Killdozer compose some whacky, yet thunderous music. Upon first listen I thought that Steve Albini produced this considering the fact that it possesses rough-edged, raw qualities of his typical production styles. Unsurprisingly, Dan Hobson’s subtle yet quick drumming is buried deep in the mix creating an even more chaotic and guitar dominant sound. It may be difficult to take Killdozer seriously because they musically posses such a nasty, sludge-ridden sound yet their vocalist sounds like Tom Verlaine on crack.

Despite the fact that Intellecuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite is an extremely unaccessible album it still delivers the goods if you’re a fan of 80's hardcore punk. Killdozer may not be as noisy as Big Black, or as ***ed up as The Butthole Surfers but it’s safe to say that they’re a nasty combination of the two. Fans of metal, punk, and noise-rock can all find something to enjoy as Killdozer easily cover all of those genres within the hour long span of the album.

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user ratings (25)

Comments:Add a Comment 
November 9th 2007


great band

burl is awesome

November 10th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

Cool review, but it seems like this album deserved more of a 3.5 judging by the review. Are they a lot like Jesus Lizard?

November 10th 2007


Album Rating: 4.0

They're very similar to Jesus Lizard, but a little more goofy.

November 10th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5

I'm sold then

April 20th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

Hey man, nice review of a great collection but just thought I'd point out a few innacuracies.

Firstly, the tracklisting shows that this is a compilation of two albums: Intellectuals are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite and Snakeboy. Snakeboy begins at King of Sex, and to my mind is their classic, but Intellectuals is a smashing debut.

Secondly, Tom Hazelmeyer isn't the raspy, grunting, lumberjack-f**kng-a-pig singer for this band, but the immortal Michael Gerald. Hazelmyer is the creator of Amphetamine Reptile records (a great noise rock label) and I think only played with Killdozer briefly. Here is an interview with Mr Gerald:

Thirdly, and I guess this isn't a correction but just a tidbit of info, the producer for both albums and thus this entire CD was none other than Butch 'Nevermind' Vig, as in that guy with the goatee from Garbage. Albini would go on to produce this band's God Hears the Pleas of the Innocent.

Sorry to be picky, but a little research goes a long way. Otherwise, good review and keep digging the true grunge.

July 8th 2016


Album Rating: 3.5

Killdozer are so underrated its unreal

July 16th 2016


Album Rating: 3.5


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