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Thursday, December 22, 2011


Big Black - Kerosene (1986)

Industrial Punk?

The linchpin track off the first full length LP by the least corporate Punk band of the 80s in the US. Big Black never signed a contract, booked their own shows, paid for their studio time up front and controlled as much of their music as they could. Punk and post punk bands through the years have cited them and specifically this track as seminal. But this track is also over six minutes long; and uses both a drum machine and effects laded guitar parts. The lyrics are repetitive and destructive, so that could go either way. I don't really like the spoken word style, but the overbearing boredrum leading to obsession with sex and fire is something I think speaks to not just me, but anybody who grew up in the 80s. Plus, as I've mentioned before; I'm a sucker for songs with a false ending. In this song it comes at around 4:45. I like the guitar solo afterwords, it's angry and visceral. The ending is almost abrupt, I really didn't expect it and had to listen to a few videos to be sure that was really when the song ended. This song isn't melodic, but it is good music.

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