A Big Black Tribute To Your Home Town

You know a band has anger issues when one of their softest songs is about getting so bored in their home town that they set themselves on fire, but what else would you expect from a punk band. In an eighties punk scene where lead singers spat out gobs of acidic rage built up from feeling powerless against a system they despised it was tough to stand out, but Big Black managed it anyway. Part of it was the tonality of the music. Employing the drum machine that gave the band its name, a dangerous rumbling bass tone and a strange industrial guitar tone they created their own sound, half punk and half avant-garde weirdness. Every aspect of the band was designed to inflame, from the lyrics that explored parts of humanity that many had no interest in seeing dragged out from the shadows, to their violent stage performances and music unlike anything people had heard before. The sound was constantly circling the rim of total anarchy, strange and abrasive, yet oddly catchy. It feels like the hooky nature of the vocals is at odds with the subject matter, sort of a musical seduction into the darker parts of the human psyche. And into piercing your own nose with a safety pin. Kerosene is below (the song, not the fuel, though it is equally inflammatory). Try to resist the urge to engage in any impromptu body modification. Just relax, let the industrial punk wash over you, and maybe check out Big Black’s iTunes to explore the (awesome) beginnings of industrial rock.

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