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    At Action Park 7 ( 1991 )
    My Black Ass / Pull The Cup / The Admiral / Crow / Song Of The Minerals / A Minute / The Idea Of North / Dog And Pony Show / Boche's Dick / Il Porno Star

    Yeah, Steve Albini was upto something during the 90s other than producing Nirvana, PJ Harvey, etc. He was doing his thing, shaking his ( black?? ) ass as part of Shellac. Mr Albini plays guitar and sings and another alternative underground noise producer Bob Weston plays 'mass', as its listed right here on my CD sleeve. Actually, Albini is credited with 'Velocity' and the drummer with 'Time'. Ha, ha! Funny fellows.... Steve Albini's former band, 'Big Black' acheived some level of acclaim within certain quarters, the kind of acclaim that passed Shellac by, simply because to the critics ears, Shellac wasn't anything new or surprising. The critics also unfairly dismissed this as merely an Albini side project, something for him to get off on inbetween producing other artists work. The thing is, though. It's pretty good. It's not great, it's not surprising - there are dozens of other albums that sound like this in the underground/punk noise rock field. The album right here is the kind of album that'll thrill you initially, only for you to tire of it later. How later depends on your own tastes and record collection, I guess. Ah, let's take the opening song, 'My Black Ass'. The playing is super tight, the song builds without appearing to actually do very much. The hook comes right at the end when Steve Albini screams "MY BLACK ASS!" as loudly as his lungs will allow him to, and it's some hook! Still, 'Pull The Cup' and 'A Minute' ( which lasts for three minutes forty seconds ) are pretty pointless instrumentals. They sound the same as the vocal tracks... no extra musical hooks to compensate for the lack of vocals and lyrics.

    Highlights? Yeah, we've got a couple of great ones. 'Dog And Pony Show' has a stabbing riff, repeated and repeated and furious demented shouted vocals. 'Crow' has a fast bass line and more aggressive vocals and guitars, and both these songs work very well indeed. Little else here matches them, although everything else here sounds exactly like them. The closing 'Il Porno Star' has very entertaining guitar and drum work - the drummer sounds pretty solid throughout, as they all do, actually. And, the album as a whole is solid, and right up your street if you go for this kind of alternative three piece noise thing. Good stuff, not great stuff - but certainly an enjoyable and listenable piece of aggression throughout.

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    jamie Jjamiecallow@aol.com
    I was always curious about this band but could never find any of their albums. I am about to order some from 'tinternet but before I do could you tell me where to start? Also how extreme is their stuff? Cheers.

    top of page this page last updated 17/05/07

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