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Noisentry – Big Black

What started out as a tiny bedroom project for Steve Albini eventually turned into one of the most mesmerizing and violent rock bands of the 80s, if not the whole music history. If rock music was criticized by many parents for being tasteless and offensive, then Big Black certainly represented the worst nightmares of responsible mothers.

In the early 80s Albini made a name for himself as a journalist, writing for Chicago zine “Matter” as well as “Forced Exposure”. At the same time, he recorded “Lungs” EP with the help of Roland TR-606, which was listed as an actual member of the band on all of Big Black records.

“Lungs” was recorded at Northwestern University and released by Ruthless Records in 1982. It included a variety of inserts, like condoms, dollar bills, bloody bandgages and razor blades, among others. Later, Steve Albini described it as an artistic regret.

Santiago Durango and Jeff Pezatti from Naked Raygun joined the band in 1983 and with this line-up they recorded two EPs. Afterwards, Pezatti was replaced with David Riley, a big-time funk fan, who was working in a studio frequented by the likes of George Clinton and Sly Stone.  However, even before he joined the band, Big Black did a cover of James Brown’s “Big Payback”, which also demonstrated their own interest in funk.

1987 “Atomizer” became one of their crowning achievements, although it also created confusion among the audience, due to controversial lyrics. Much of lyrical inspiration/lyrics for that album came from teen years that Albini spent in Missoula, Montana.

Shortly before they broke up, they released one more album – “Songs About Fu*$ing”, which brought even more recognition, but the band decided that it would be a good time to stop by then, due to Durango leaving the band to attend law school, as well as their lack of interest in success/career goals of any kind.

Band Members:

Dave Riley (Miasma Of Funk, Savage Beliefs)

Jeff Pezzati (Naked Raygun)

Santiago Durango (Naked Raygun, Arsenal)

Steve Albini (Rapeman, Shellac)

Discography:

Lungs 12″ (1982)

 

 

Bulldozer 12″ (1983)

Racer X 12″ / CS (1984)

Rema-Rema 7″ (1985)

Il Duce 7″ (1985)

Atomizer LP (1986)

 

Hammer Party LP/CD (1986)

Headache/Heartbeat 12″ + 7″ (1987)

Headache 12″ / CS (1987)

Heartbeat 7″ (1987)

He’s A Whore / The Model 7″ (1987)

Rich Man’s Eight Track Tape CD (1987)

Songs About Fu%^ing LP / CD (1987)

 

Pig Pile LP / CD / VHS (1992)

Compilation Tracks:

Jump The Climb” on Bang Zoom #3 (Bang Zoom Zine, 1983)

I Can Be Killed” on Bang Zoom #3 (Bang Zoom Zine, 1983)

Rip” on Bang Zoom #3 (Bang Zoom Zine, 1983)

Texas (Live)” on Code Blue (Last Rites, 1984)

Big Payback” on Loud’N’Fast Radio Presents: The Middle Of America (H.I.D. Productions, 1984)

Hunter’s Safety (Tommy Bartlett Dies In Pain)” on Loud’N’Fast Radio Presents: The Middle Of America (H.I.D. Productions, 1984)

Every Man For Himself” on God’s Favorite Dog (Touch And Go, 1986)

Crack Up” on God’s Favorite Dog (Touch And Go, 1986)

Dead Billy (Live)” on Head Over Ears – A Debris Compilation (Play Hard Records, 1987)

Il Duce” on Hog Butcher For The World (Mad Queen Records, 1987) / The Wailing Ultimate – The Homestead Records Compilation (Homestead, 1987)

“Burning Indian Wife” on Happiness Is Dry Pants (Chemical Imbalance Fanzine #2, 1988)

“Kerosene” on Nothing Short Of Total War (Blast First, 1989) / Devil’s Jukebox (Blast First, 1989)

“He’s A Whore” on Nothing Short Of Total War (Blast First, 1989) / Devil’s Jukebox (Blast First, 1989)

Cables” on Touch And Go Fall 1992 Sampler (Touch And Go, 1992)

Jordan, Minnesota

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