Review Revue: Big Black - The Hammer Party

Well, jeez, if you can’t fight about Steve Albini, what can you fight about? For a band as edgy and boundary-pushing as Albini’s Big Black could be, based on the conversation on this album cover it seems they weren’t the subject of much controversy in KCMU-land. Some artists seem to have always been part of the college radio pantheon; as a longtime fan of Big Black and Shellac, I’m glad to see Mr. Albini seems to be one of those.

What I really love about this album cover, and what I wish more people would have done, is that someone cut out a newspaper article about bird shooting as a tie-in with the song “Pigeon Kill” and stuck it to the cover. Yet another example of life imitating art, or musicians turning to newspapers for inspiration, or something.

“Oh Boy. Big Black, Big Black!! Oh Boy - Oh Boy - Oh Boy - Oh Boy. It’s Big Black + it’s LOUD! I like it.”

“(Long live Roland!!)”

“BIG”

“This cover is a cheap rip off of The The’s cover for Soul Mining. The only difference is that this one shows the splat. Not that this matters.” [Hm. I don't really see the connection. Is there a hidden hammer somewhere on Soul Mining?]

“Right, Big Black finishes the job, whereas The The leaves you waiting.”

“Previously released stuff here of which we have both in the library. Apparently they are out of print so get this while you can. ‘Cables’ - Red Dot - ‘Fucker’ - Roland is the hammer.”

“The Pigeon Kill ->”

[Newspaper article:]

Animal lovers are up in arms over bird shoot
Associated Press
Hegins, Pa. - About 200 people got together and shot birds in the 54th annual Schuylkill County pigeon shoot while animal-rights activists marched on the governor’s mansion, calling for an end to such activity in Pennsylvania.
‘In Pittsburgh and Washington and Philadelphia they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to gas and poison pigeons,’ said Herm Clemens, who participated in the shoot. ‘This is a nice family affair. You don’t see people who shoot pigeons shooting drugs.’ [Underlined in pen.]
In Harrisburg about 250 protesters braved a driving rain as they marched from the steps of the Capitol to Gov. Robert Casey’s mansion.
Casey was in Pittsburgh.
‘These people are willing to give up their holiday and walk through the rain to show they want to stop the killing,’ said George Cave, a spokesman for Trans-Species Unlimited, which organized the march.

[Full text under a different headline in the AP's archive. Seek and The Internet shall provide; it has also assured me that Mr. Clemens was still living in PA and full of opinions as of 2010. I'm sure he's still shooting pigeons and not shooting drugs, too.]

“<- Appears to be Tim Muck's head there. (And his spectacles.)"

"Can't be, there's red stuff coming out."

"My glasses yes, but it's Rosencranz's head - look at that hair."

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One Comment

  1. Damon Creed
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    My most memorable Big Black/Steve Albini incident on KCMU. The time I was interviewing him live in studio in support of the “Songs About Fucking” album and he referred to the album in its entirety each time he mentioned it. What a rascal.

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