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Exo 10-19-2019 12:08 PM

Here Come the Surveyors: A Look at Steve Albini

Steve Albini is one of my favorite people. He's a musician, producer, artist, poker player, and most importantly, a midwest Chicago icon. I've always been fond of anything he touches but he's been a part of so many projects and albums from his own bands to Nirvana, to things you've never heard of. I'm going to try to cover the scope of his work as a musician but also his work as a producer in somewhat chronological order. Let's see what we uncover. Post might be sporadic but I've been eager to do this for a while and I feel like I have the time to do it so I'm going to try.

Stay tuned...

Mondo Bungle 10-19-2019 04:13 PM

gonna be way more poppin than the Zorn shuffler

Exo 10-19-2019 04:42 PM

Gotta start it first. Then I gotta finish it! I have not been great at that.

The Batlord 10-19-2019 04:48 PM

I'm sure your girlfriend can relate.

Mondo Bungle 10-19-2019 05:16 PM

at least you'll have to listen to some Stinking Lizaveta at some point

OccultHawk 10-19-2019 05:56 PM


Originally Posted by The Batlord (Post 2084647)
I'm sure your girlfriend can relate.

Like you know anything about that...

The Batlord 10-19-2019 06:55 PM

Like you do either.

OccultHawk 10-19-2019 07:31 PM


Originally Posted by The Batlord (Post 2084683)
Like you do either.

Ask your mom, son.

The Batlord 10-20-2019 11:59 AM

I would but I tired her out earlier and she needs her rest.

Exo 10-23-2019 03:06 PM

Big Black: The first Albini band and the one I like the least: The Movie

By the time Albini was done doing the Big Black thing, he was on to producing and churning out classics and also starting other ventures that ultimately stomped all over this somewhat two album and multiple EP noise rock band. I'm skipping the EPs and just revisiting the two LPs. I haven't listened to them in a while so maybe I'll turn up something new.

First two tracks on this album scare the sh*t out of me and I'm sitting here as a 30 year old trying to figure out why. I guess I'm just imagining a dark basement in a horror scene as Passing Complexion plays in the background and my primal instinct is taking over. I don't remember this playing like a mid 80's horror movie but it is and it does. Is that a drum machine? *checks credits* YES! Nailed it. You see that guys? Exo can safely and with confidence identify a drum machine.

Yeah, I don't like it.

We do get a lot of weird Albini lyrics though and I'm sure I'll be talking about that as we get more into Shellac and Rapeman but it's interesting that he just kind of started his career with these out there lyrics of isolation and boredom to murder and and fistf*cking child molesters. I'm not really a lyric guy so I'm not going to take the time to analyze them but with Big Black, what's there really to analyze?

Do I hate this band? Sh*t no! Non preferable Steve Albini is still preferable to most noise rock in my opinion. This sh*t is raw. I like how it sounds like it was recorded on a REALLY cold day in a house without heat and they only had one take to get it right. Yet, even with its frantic and chaotic rhythm, teh album still sounds crystal clear and tight as sh*t. That's Albini production for you I guess.

The Naked Raygun influence is here as well with Santiago Durango being part of the band. Overall it's an angry and scary record that I remember correctly being almost on the verge on being industrial and something that teters on the verge on me not liking it. Yet, there's also just something fascinating with how the band pieces these songs together and grinds out for forty minutes. It's still a very unique record but something I end up forgetting about at the end of the day.

Sh*t makes me wanna play arcade games though.

This review will be shorter because a lot of the same stuff applies. Drum machines are just something I CAN'T get into. This album however is aptly titled because I can see myself having sex to some of these songs if I were, say, time travelling back to the late 80's/90's. I'm 30 years old. I don't know what those times were like but I can imagine it with the help of this record.

This is just more fun. The lyrics are there. The drum machine is there. Yet, this is different. This is like the soundtrack to a campy 80's film about crust punks or something. I like this album better than Atomizer and I think it was the start of Albini starting to really hone in on a feeling and sound. A year leter he produces Pixies Surfer Rosa and while that album is very different from this, you can almost hear roots of what Albini would start doing in the booth starting in the next couple years.



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