Category Archives: Music

Social Distortion – Mommy’s Little Monster (1983)

Lately I’ve been immersing myself in the glory of 80s American indie rock. There is too much great music to make a list here, suffice to say the list would include The Butthole Surfers, REM, Flaming Lips and Nirvana.

And Social Distortion.

Social Distortion, unlike other punk bands from the era, survived and evolved/matured, starting as a fairly straight forward punk rock band, before bringing in the country, blues and rockabilly influences. And that’s it, they found a formula that works. It’s another case of the AC/DCs, I guess.

Their first album, Mommy’s Little Monster is a great example of the sort of US punk that was coming from the underground in the early 80s, loud, fast, angry about most things. The Sex Pistols and The Clash are the clearest influences here. To the point that if you crossed The Clash’s debut album with Never Mind The Bollocks, it would probably sound like this. Lyrically, Mike Ness is found railing against the same things affecting other suburban punks around the USA, including police harrassment, boredom, love, hate and generally being treated as outcasts by society. Just a group of angry young kids, making music for angry young kids.

Definitely in keeping with The Sicilian, by Oakland punks Fleshies, this album makes me feel like I’m 17 years old again

Lukas Dam.

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Jack White – Love Interruption

Old Jackie, rumoured to be trapped inside an opium den surrounded by some chinamen (or not?) hit us with his latest solo offering, Love Interruption, a little over two weeks ago.

That James Bond theme song was good, true, but it’s the James Bond theme, y’know? Fly Farm Blues was a brilliant lo-fi blues that demonstrates his love of solo bluesmen like Robert Johnson, or Son House. Most recently he covered You Know That I Know for the recent Hank Williams compilation album, ably showing that country music doesn’t actually suck (as so many people would lead you to believe).

His most recent dip into the eternal well of songcraft that is The Deep South brings out his love of Stax-style soul. duetting with vocalist Ruby Amanfu. The track begins with tinkling piano and acoustic guitar, slowly the song builds as more instruments are introduced, and finally the playing becomes more and more intense before dropping to a whisper. And repeat, more or less. It’s like a deliberately acoustic Pixies covering some soul gem, forgotten ’til now.

Enjoy.

Lukas Dam.

The 50 Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time

1. Robert Plant (Band of Joy, Led Zeppelin, Rockestra, The Honeydrippers, Page and Plant, Strange Sensation, Alison Krauss)
2. Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden, Samson)
3. Ronnie James Dio (Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven and Hell)
4. Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses, Hollywood Rose, L.A. Guns, Rapidfire)
5. James Hetfield (Metallica)
6. Angus Young (AC/DC) (Argue it if you don’t agree!)
7. Alice Cooper (Alice Cooper)
8. Steven Tyler (Aerosmith)
9. David Lee Roth (Van Halen)
10. Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath, Ozzy)
11. Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, Lovage, John Zorn, Kaada/Patton, Dillinger Escape Plan, Hemophiliac, Maldoror, General Patton vs. The X-Ecutioners)
12. Gene Simmons (Kiss, Wicked Lester) (Argue it if you don’t agree!)
13. Dee Snider (Twisted Sister, Desperado, Widowmaker, S.M.F.’s (Sick Mother Fuckers) )
14. HR (Bad Brains, Human Rights)
15. Rob Halford (Judas Priest, Fight, 2wo, Halford, Bullring Brummies)
16. Sebastien Bach (Madam X, Skid Row, Frameshift, Damnocracy)
17. Iggy Pop (The Stooges, The Iguanas)
18. Henry Rollins (State of Alert, Black Flag, Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters, Rollins Band)
19. Marilyn Manson (Mrs. Scabtree, Marilyn Manson)
20. Serj Tankian (System of a Down, Serart, Axis of Justice,)
21. Phil Anselmo (Superjoint Ritual, Christ Inversion, Down, Arson Anthem, Viking Crown, Pantera)
22. Lemmy (Motörhead, The Rockin’ Vickers, The Head Cat)
23. Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails Pigface, Tapeworm)
24. Kerry King (Slayer) (Argue it if you don’t agree!)
25. Danzig (Misfits, Samhain, Danzig)
26. Zach De La Rocha (Rage Against the Machine, Inside Out, Hardstance, One Day as a Lion)
27. GG Allin
28. Scott Ian (Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death, Damnocracy, Pearl) (Argue it if you don’t agree!)
29. Rob Zombie (White Zombie, Scum of the Earth)
30. Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates, Disfear, The Great Deceiver, The Crown, Skitsystem)
31. Maynard James Keenan (TexA.N.S., Children of the Anachronistic Dynasty, Tool, Green Jellÿ, Tapeworm, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer)
32. Gaahl (Gorgoroth, Trelldrom, Wardruna)
33. David Coverdale (Whitesnake, Deep Purple)
34. Doro (Snakebite, Warlock)
35. Greg Puciato (The Dillinger Escape Plan)
36. Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe)
37. Wendy-O-Williams (Plasmatics)
38. Lita Ford (The Runaways)
39. Conrad Lant (Venom, Cronos, Probot)
40. Mike Muir (Suicidal Tendencies, No Mercy, Infectious Grooves)
41. Alexi Laiho (Children of Bodom, Sinergy, Kylähullut, Impaled Nazarene)
42. Jeff Walker (Carcass, Blackstar, Brujeria, Electro Hippies)
43. Tom G Warrior (Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Apollyon Sun, Triptykon)
44. Wino (The Obcessed, Spirit Caravan, St. Vitus, Wino)
45. Joey Demaio (Manowar)(Argue it fuckers!)
46. Chuck Billy (Testament, Dublin Death Patrol)
47. Mike Monroe (Hanoi Rocks, Demolition 23)
48. Dead (Mayhem, Morbid)
49. Sakevi (GISM)
50. Till Lindemann (Rammstein, First Arsch)

Ah, to my love of lists. Friends and I have aruged throughout time who was the more effective front man in Mike Patton or Maynard James Keenan? Fortunately the list comes away in favour of my opinion.

Courtesy of Blabbermout.net

Django Django – Django Django

Released – 30 January 2012
Members – David Maclean, Vincent Neff, Jimmy Dixon, and Tommy Grace
Label – Because Music

Wow. I’m still getting over the year in music that was 2011. I still can’t stop listening to Wye Oak, EMA, War on Drugs and certain M83 tracks.

But here we have it. My first album of the year. I’ve spent a lot of time with this one already and I’m certain it’ll be appearing on my end of year lists.

It was here at Any Decent Music where I read the first few things about this band. They shared comparisons with that of the late Beta Band. At that moment I was sold. I’m one of those people who believe that the Beta Band will survive the clutter of music in this time frame. They had something special. With further research I learn that Django Django member David Maclean is John Maclean (Beta Band/Aliens) younger brother. Bingo

From the Introduction into ‘Hail Bop’, ‘Firewater’, ‘Waveforms’ to Wor. It’s all impressive.

Please if you have not heard this record yet it’s time to get onto it. It’s fabulous, fresh and strangely uplifting.

Sounds like – a date between the Beta Band and Ennio Morricone.

Eight.Five/Ten.

Kurt Vile vs Patrick Stickles (Titus Andronicus)

Man, sometimes things just slide straight past you. In a nutshell in late last year Kurt Vile’s track “Baby’s Arms” appeared in a Bank of America commercial to which the Titus Andronicus man discovered and took it too his twitter account to mildly put it, accuse Vile of selling out. Vile responded by telling him that he needed the cash for some pretty realistic things.

My question is it selling out if you either:

A) Don’t care?
B) Care but want the money?

Stickles of a yet to sell out stadium shows band should know the pressures of an up and coming musician and probably would have done the same right?

Here’s some of the messages that transpired:

PS – Did I hear that Kurt Vile’s great song ‘Baby’s Arms’ was in a Bank of America commercial? If so, man, that’s “shit” if anything ever was.
– Come on, Kurt Vile, yr a million times better than that.  If it is even true! Can someone confirm?
– if it is real, then you need to get real, man. I thought you were, like, the best dude in music

After Vile came back with his remark of: sorry titus. i did it to be like the carpenters.and to buy my daughter high end diapers. and to pay back my publishing advance. and because i never cared about that sorta thing. whoops,i even have a bank of america account. B-P (and that’s a dude with sunglasses sticking out his tongue,i’m so sorry.)

Poor PS – Shot back with this statement
A lot of times, people will open their mouth to talk about someone else, like they can know another person’s business…but they usually just do it because they are feeling insecure or threatened or vulnerable about their own selves…and they project their own fears and insecurities onto that other person. It would be much better to just try and live…in accordance with yr own values, and be a model for those values, live yr life and let other people live this. So what I’m saying is I’m sorry I let yr name come out of my mouth. Yr life is yr own to live. is the new Tom Petty. I’m just petty.

Titus Andronicus – A More Perfect Union.

?uestlove

Only lately has Ahmir Thompson or otherwise known as The Roots bandleader Questlove come to my attention. Forming The Roots in 1987 and delivering their first album “Organix!” six years later. It’s now 2012 and with comfortably setting themselves up as the house band on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon has some of the members personalties started to shine through. Not just some hip hop drummer, we discover after many interviews and research Ahmir is a massive record collector. The knowledge of music that sits inside his mind is an amount I could only wish to obtain.

Facts:

  • He has over 60,000 records.
  • He built a special library to hold all of his records.
  • He has spent $3000 – 4000 a month on records since 1993

Please if you have the time here are some links to some interviews through larger established sites.

Pitchfork
Believer
Spin

Video Footage of Questlove’s Record Collection. Impressive Stuff.

Here.

The Roots – Don’t Feel Right.

Fleshies – Sicilian

Fleshies

The Sicilian

2003

 

So basically, this band is signed to Alternative Tentacles, Jello Biafra’s label, former home to Dead Kennedys and Butthole Surfers.

It’s aggressive, it’s passionate, it’s meaningful, it’s meaningless, it’s “wierd”, this is rock and roll.

It’s almost self-explanatory.

It has re-awoken the 17 year old inside of me.

Lukas Dam

My Top 20 Records 2011

Finally it’s happening. In such a busy year and with just over a month of reflection I bring you my top albums of twenty eleven. It wasn’t overly the greatest year in music but I find if you look and listen hard enough there is always something old or new to discover.

20. Psychic Paramount – 11 (Public Guilt)

A relentless and barraging record, this would have to be my ‘metal’ record of the year.

Released February 22, 2011

19. TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light (Interscope)

It’s never easy four albums into your career in this current musical climate to keep a loyal fanbase. Having said that, TV on the Radio have released another set of stellar songs. With the death of band member Gerard Smith the band decided to roll on. I got to see them play at last year’s Harvest Festival rolling out some of these grand tracks.

Songs – Second Song, Will Do, Repetition, Caffeinated Consciousness

Released April 11, 2011

18. White Denim – D (Downtown Records)

This like many other records this year came as an unexpected pleasure. I’d read some good things about these guys and after time I fell in like with their unorthodox tracks. It was on their 4th effort and at the 44 second mark of opening tack ‘It’s Him’ that initially caught my attention. Catchy chorus’s and creative verses add to the timeless sound of White Denim and can be heard throughout this album.

Here’s an interesting excerpt from the wiki .

“According to Rolling Stone, White Denim are “…like a jam band that refuses to be boring”, mixing sublimely “psychedelia, hard blues, boogie, prog rock and fusion riffs like inspired kids weaned on 64GB iPods and 64-ounce Slurpees” in a way that “often recalls late-Sixties Grateful Dead, when their songs still had garage-rock drive but were exploding every which way.”[6] “The freakouts are mathematically calibrated, come with joyous hooks, and can coalesce into something conventionally heroic,” notes Uncut magazine.[9] The album has been described as “White Denim’s most thrillingly off-kilter record to date” and “another joyous rampage through rock’s dusty attic” by Mojo and Q critics, respectively”

Songs – It’s Him, Burnished

Released April 24th 2011

17. Black Lips – Arabia Mountain (Vice Recordings)

Black Lips have now well and truly established themselves as lo-fi rockers of the garage kind. If you didn’t dig their last few records then you will definitely not be a fan of this though it’s definitely a great jump on point for new fans. The album is inconsistent but when they hit they really hit. Does anyone feel the Ramones on ‘Raw Meat’? It’s great. Mark Ronson produced with Lockett Pundt (Deerhunter) stepping in for tracks ‘Bicentennial Man’ and ‘Go out and get it’.

Songs – Family Tree, Raw Meat, Bicentennial Man, The Lie

Released June 7th 2011

16. Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care (Temporary Residence Limited)

It upsets me that every time I listen to this album It reminds me of the night I could have checked out their gig in my home town a few months back. This atmospheric instrumental rock band from Austin, Texas hit back with some of their most finest tracks in awhile. From the blistering opener in ‘Last Known Surroundings’ to the very end. They are a band that knows how to keep it interesting within the realms of their own vision without selling themselves out.

Songs – Trembling Hands, Be Comfortable, Creature.


Released 18th April 2011

15. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – Mirror Traffic (Matador Records)

One artist to progress comfortably after the ending of one of the bigger bands of the indie rock movement Pavement continues to progress in style with his fifth outing. The album is less jammy than the last album ‘Real Emotional Trash’ while being more comparable to that of the template of Wowee Zowee. Perhaps, is it the production from Beck having some part of influence with the change of direction? MT is Stephen at his most sardonic and chirpiness with plenty of poppy hooks thrown in with some fine song writing moments.

Songs – Tigers, Brain Gallop, No One Is

Released August 23rd 2011

14. Low – C’mon (Sub Pop)

Album number 9 for Mr Sparhawk and his crew. Sadly I didn’t respond well to last album, Drums and Guns as the record before it The Great Destroyer was my first Low love. Here after several listens Im back on board. I also probably need to get back and give the D+G’s another shot. Though Low is not a band for all times and moods but this just hit me at the right time and the song craft throughout here is superb.

Songs – Try to Sleep, You See Everything, Witches, Nightingale, Nothing But Heart, Something’s Turning Over

Released April 11th 2011

13. Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost (True Panther Sounds)

A truly unique recording this one, taking a bright shiny tone on most tracks, some with a poppy feel others a more serious edge. Throw in a heavy rocker in ‘Die’ and candidate for the best song of the year in ‘Vomit’ which is a combination of the two and you have Christopher Owens brainchild.

Songs – Vomit, Alex, Honey Bunny, Magic

Released September 7, 2011

12. Wye Oak – Civilian (Merge Records)

I’d be surprised if I was the only one who had picked up on this wonderful band in 2011. If you got in earlier I commend you. To describe Wye Oak is not an easy task. I decided to be a smart ass and used taste kid as cheap way to sell the band but really, not a lot of those artists sound similar in the way that leads you from being interested in one band to another without ripping them off. So to break in down for you Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner spend their time throughout this album displaying their talent with blending their fondness for blaring guitars to the softest moments, with the poppy overtones riding throughout without sounding like anyone else, that’s merit right there.

Songs – Holy Holy, Dogs Eyes, Civilian, The Alter

Releaed March 2011

11. EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints (Souterrain Transmissions)

Erikia M Anderson otherwise known as EMA, full of attitude and luckily enough she has the songs to support it. The album is her second and it’s full of slowburning tracks covered in murk. The opening track ‘The Grey Ship’ along with Girls ‘Vomit’ are two of the better songs of the year in the way they build up to these brilliant climaxes and if ‘California’ doesn’t inspire anyone to form their own band I’d be surprised. The album clocks in just under 40 minutes though there’s a lot here to appreciate. I can assure you myself and many others will be quietly awaiting her next set of tracks that’s for sure.

Songs – The Grey Ship, Butterfly Knife, Milkman, California, Breakfast

Released May 10 2011

10. Radiohead – The King of Limbs (Self Released)

Announced on the 14th February and released a few days later. I remember sharing dialogue with my friends about the sudden release. Radiohead still know how to spark interest. Few days later I attempted to wrap my ears around the new songs and there was never an issue of disappointment. Though mixed reviews started popping up everywhere and out came the comparisons to In Rainbows and their former work but I’m a still a great believer in the band and feel the band is still in top form.

For those who haven’t seen it Lotus Flower. (d.Garth Jennings)

Songs – Little By Little, Codex, Give Up the Ghost, Lotus Flower, Bloom

Released 18 February 2011

9. Mogwai – Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (Sub Pop)

What can I say about Mogwai that any post-rock enthusiast hasn’t already mentioned? Fitting in the catalogue nicely across from Mr Beast and Hawk comes the 7th outing for Mogwai. This is a band I’ve had the pleasure of following personally for almost a decade and I will say that there’s never been a time when I can say they’ve disappointed whether that being live or their studio work. The creative flame is still burning bright with every release a delight to take in.

Songs – White Noise, Rano Pano, Mexican Grand Prix, San Pedro, Letter to the Metro

Released February 14th 2011

8. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Hailing from New Zealand and pumping out the lo-fi rock numbers with pscyh overtones brings former Mint Chick man Ruban Nielsan to a whole new audience. The lyrics seem somewhat thoughtless but remain overly fun suiting them musically to a T. I purely admire the aesthetic and feel that in time the band will become more relevant with every release.

Songs – Thought Ballune, How Can You Luv Me, Nerve Damage, Strangers are Strange.

Released 2011

7. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake (Island Records)

This was PJ’s year. With taking out the Mercury Prize (thank Christ for beating Adele). LES featured heavily in many prominent ends of year lists. It’s good to know there’s still room for this kind of record without being dominated by the sudden popularity of the likes of ‘chillwave’ and ‘dubstep’. I’m led to believe the album was recorded in a church somewhere in England and it shows through its stark energy. I probably wouldn’t recommend this as a jump on point for PJ but there are some great tracks here and it seems even some major establishments have really pimped out her tracks in “Maketh Murder”. This album will definitely be talked about for some time.

Songs – Let England Shake, Glorious Land, Words That Maketh Murder, In the Dark Places, Bitter Branches


Released February 11th 2011

6. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi (Domino Records)
It was a friend who initially recommended me this English songstress to me earlier in the year, I took the advice on board and never looked back. Copping endorsement from the likes of Nick Cave and Brian Eno this is a must listen. I came across an article at some point earlier this year likening her guitar skills to that of Jimi Hendrix, this girl has enormous skill on a fret board. Among the nominees for the annual Mercury Prize, Calvi offers lovely song craft drenched in elegant guitar work.

Songs – No More Words, The Devil, Blackout, Suzanne and I

Released January 14th 2011

5. The Antlers – Burst Apart (Frenchkiss Records)

Number four for this Brooklyn 3 piece and second since establishing themselves as a prominent act. The biggest question on most people’s minds is does this effort trump their breakthrough record ‘Hospice’? but I’m staying neutral and stating that this album was a great direction for the band.

Songs – I Don’t Want Love, Hounds, Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out, No Widows, Rolled Together

Released May 10 2011

4. The Horrors – Skying (XL Recordings)

On the back of the impressive Primary Colours, the Horrors deliver another dose of their shoegazish rock. What we have here is 10 tidy and confident tracks to get lost to if you don’t get lost in Faris Badwan’s captivating voice beforehand. A band in control and I’m hoping for every success. Fuck off Kasabian this is the good stuff.

Songs – You Pick

Released 11th July 2011

3. Boxer Rebellion – The Cold Still (Absentee Recordings)

I honestly don’t really remember why I invested time into this record. It may have been that Drew Barrymore showcased their material in one of her films and remembering the tunes not being too bad. It took me awhile to come around to Nathan Nicholson’s voice but suiting the style of their emotional rock, it’s a perfect fit. The album received a number of mixed reviews but I think this deserved more. I remember walking around the streets of Manhattan with this playing, it suited and still does.

Songs – Step out the Car, Locked in the Basement, Caused for Alarm, The Runner

Released 7th February 2011

2. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient (Secretly Canadian)

Wow, what can I say. I’m sure if you asked anyone in 2011 if they could sound like anyone it’d be this band. Yes there is elements of Kurt Vile and the Springsteen but somehow main man Adam Granduciel make’s this completely his own, stepping out of Vile’s shadow. Recorded over a number a years and finally securing a release in 2011. Here we have 12 wholesome tracks that sound so unique it inspires, that guitar tone? Shiiit.

Songs – Brothers, I Was There, It’s Your Destiny, Baby Missiles

Released August 16th 2011

1. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador Records)

IT took me a few listens but after that I’ve forever been impressed. His voice, his skill, the lyrics it all seems so effortless. This is an indication of a true troubadour. Please if you haven’t jumped on the Vile bandwagon and im mean that with all sincerity, please start now. It’s a worthwile trip.

Songs – Jesus Fever, Society is my Friend, Baby’s Arms, Puppet to the Man, In My Time, Peeping Tomboy

Released May 8th 2011

Keepin it Anonymous?

Unknown Song
Unknown Artist
Unknown Release Date

Sometimes it’s great to know the whole story behind a song or band or whatever. Sometimes it’s nice to have a mystery. But with most mysteries…well you need to have some prior understanding of it’s history to aid in the demystification process. Precedents and such.

The author’s identity, and indeed the title, of this track seem to have been lost in the sands of time, but somehow the recording itself remains. I can imagine this isn’t the first time this has happened but the first time i have come across it at least. There has been a somewhat minor stir on the interwebz with regards to the authorship of the song. It’s appearance that sparked such sudden interest began as part of a mixtape of 60s psych rock compiled by DJ Shadow.

What you have to ask yourself is “does it really matter?”
Your answer should be “Can I listen to the tune first?”

Lukas Dam

Top 20 Steve Albini Recorded Albums

For the Steve Albini fans out there I came across this list posted on http://stereogum.com/

Whether you agree with the list or not it’s still definitely interesting to check it out, so here it is:

20. Mogwai – ‘My Father, My King’
19. The Ex – ‘Turn’
18. High On Fire – ‘Blessed Black Wings’
17. Don Caballero – ‘American Don’
16. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Yanqui U.X.O.’
15. Superchunk – ‘No Pocky For Kitty’
14. Dirty Three – ‘Ocean Songs’
13. Low – ‘Secret Name’
12. The Wedding Present – ‘Seamonsters’
11. Shellac – ‘At Action Park’
10. Neurosis – ‘Times Of Grace’
09. Palace Music – ‘Viva Last Blues’
08. The Breeders – ‘Pod’
07. Jawbreaker – ’24 Hour Revenge Therapy’
06. Joanna Newsom – ‘Ys’
05. The Jesus Lizard – ‘Goat’

Albini worked with these Chicago-via-Texas angular-stomp masters throughout their surprisingly long career. But their sophomore album is where the team’s drooling, violent attack found its truest expression. Albini knew that the Jesus Lizard’s power lay in the tension between David Yow’s unhinged neanderthal act and the crushing precision of the rhythm section, and he makes sure we feel each garbled screech and bass-thud in the pit of our souls.

04. Big Black – ‘Atomizer’

The debut album from Albini’s first noteworthy band, ‘Atomizer’ sounds like what might happen if the Fall and Motorhead got into a meat-locker rumble. Albini is infamous for making every snare-crack reverberate in your ribs, but Big Black stuck with drum machines, and that somehow made ‘Atomizer’ sound even more brutal. The album’s scraping intensity and Albini’s grim deadpan helped create a blueprint for the next few decades of underground-rock misanthropy.

03. PJ Harvey – ‘Rid Of Me’

Some critics are always after Polly Jean Harvey to pick up a guitar and start wailing ruthlessly again, but she only ever really sounded like a punk rock banshee when Steve Albini was recording her. Harvey’s toughest and most feral LP is her second one, and Albini’s work on the album gives the music a harsh, chaotic edge that mirrors Harvey’s songs and sentiments. And so it would be pretty easy to make the argument that Albini had a hand in 1993’s two finest rock albums.

02. Pixies – ‘Surfer Rosa’

As the recording engineer for the legendary whisper-to-scream band’s debut full-length, Albini made the Pixies sound louder and screechier than they ever would again. He recorded Kim Deal’s “Gigantic” vocals in a studio bathroom, kept studio banter in on certain songs, and generally made the band sound like the biggest, nastiest thing on earth. Albini’s production work on this album was what later convinced people like Kurt Cobain and PJ Harvey to seek him out. And a couple of years later, he called the album “a patchwork pinch loaf from a band who at their top dollar best are blandly entertaining college rock.” He later apologized for the insult, but still!

01. Nirvana – ‘In Utero’

Nirvana’s decision to work with Albini on the all-important ‘Nevermind’ follow-up could be seen as a statement of intent: The newly minted Most Important Band On Earth signing on with one of the major-label system’s most important critics for a destined-to-be-huge record that would smack Nirvana’s huge audience around with their underground aesthetics. And there were rumblings that DGC didn’t consider In Utero fit for release; they eventually brought R.E.M. producer Scott Litt in to sweeten the mix on “Heart-Shaped Box” and “All Apologies.” But Albini turned out to be a great musical match for the band. It’s hard to imagine anyone else capturing the visceral urgency of a tracks like “Serve The Servants” and “Very Ape” quite like Albini did, but he also let the beauty shine through on more tender songs like “Dumb” and “Pennyroyal Tea.” It might not have been exactly what DGC wanted, but ‘In Utero’ was still a thorny, wriggling masterpiece, and one that gave Cobain a chance to show the world exactly what he thought Nirvana was before he took his own life.

A very fair list however surprising omissions:

Slint – Tweez (1987)
Low – Things We Lost in the Fire (2001)
McLusky – The Difference Between You and Me is Im not on Fire

Please be sure to check out the stereogum website for the rest of the inclusions.

SB