Big Black
Heartbeat


2.5
average

Review

by Idolatrous USER (5 Reviews)
August 13th, 2016 | 2 replies


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Nobody owns life, but anyone who can pick up a frying pan owns death.”

When looking at the geography of a nation, people not native to their tend to have their eyes glued to the names of the big cities. They are caught up in the idea of walking the streets there and absorbing the culture by discovering many of the cities trademark cuisines, admiring its architectural staples and conversing with the citizens of these thriving metropolitans. But these vast cities are not the most compelling and driving forces of these countries. Instead it is the small communities strung out through the country side that are heartbeat of all of these societies. The American mid-west is a staple of this with its string of largely agricultural based towns dominating the region. These mostly backward little areas encapsulate most of what American culture was as many of its inhabitants cling on to old fashioned values in an ever growing progressive age. This is where a Chicago based band named Big Black and its many peers shed evidence of progression in these rickety dusty towns.

Throughout Big Black’s history as a band it has created music that sounds like the rumble of machines clunking along in a factory ***ing, fighting and creating together. The music is built around the idea of the reciprocal life cycle of the working class and lyrically it tackles the innermost thoughts of the hive of blue collar workers in the mid-west as reoccurring subject matter such as murder, racism, misogyny, child abuse, alcoholism, violence, and small town discrepancies such as poising pigeons show the darker and more demented side of the oppressed middle class. This extended play is a bit different too when compared the bands unique style of music, as it shows the band covering a pop song, slowing down its sound and writing nearly hardcore style instrumental (which is odd as the band loathes hardcore).

The opening riff of “Heartbeat” though is what gives this particular record a bit of an exclusiveness within the bands discography as it is a cover of a Wire song from their record “Chairs Missing.” Now Wire may have been an excellent post-punk band but this song is an oddity to be covered by Big Black as it is a love song. Therefore for them to release this song could have been somewhat controversial for fans use to the pounding rhythms and maniacal lyrics built on themes on social commentary that the band often offers. But this is not an act of selling out instead it is a huge middle finger to anyone who thinks they are because as a band Big Black will do whatever they want with their music and by simply covering this song they make quite a statement about this bands ethics (also it helps that it was a well done cover as well).

The next song on the record is called “Things to Do Today.” An inventive song that reintroduces Big Black’s typical style of music except at a much slower tempo. The song tells of a list of an assassins job to get an investors signature then kill them (as well as the dog). The songs atmosphere is completely opposite to the pop song catchiness of the title track making for a more compelling track albeit that it could have been developed more which follows in suite with the instrumental rocker “I Can’t Believe.” The song although not bad is just not quite at all very memorable.

In all the three songs inside of the record are interesting and have some merit as being ‘experimental’ inside of the bands discography. But the record is just not at all very cohesive when compared to other extended plays by the band such as “Racer-X”, “Bulldozer”, and “Headache.” Therefore it is a pretty average work when compared to their other work, but still it only takes about seven minutes to listen to a record that shows a different side to Big Black.


user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
ArsMoriendi
August 13th 2016


23136 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeh, pos

Digging: Curtis Mayfield - Curtis

Supercoolguy64
August 13th 2016


8483 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good band yis

Digging: Acid Bath - When the Kite String Pops



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