25 March 2005

Big Black Ley Line

Almost exactly at the time I bought this album I found out a friend, F, had been hit and almost killed by a meat truck. A little Jungian synchronicity that has stayed with me and recurs every time I listen to it.

F had been following a Ley Line for the best part of 9 miles, having convinced himself that he needed to tap into some Earth Power (he'd been reading a lot of Slaine in 200AD). F was a rampant vegan - soya milk on his cornflakes, skin tighter than a Japanese drum - and by all accounts he never saw the truck coming. I guess it wasn't really the energy source he'd been expecting to assimilate. When they picked him up and shovelled him into the ambulance (collar bone now not connected to the breast bone, knee not connected to the thigh bone...) he was wearing meat, an irony that I'm sure his metaphysical personality would have appreciated, especially because he'd had a hard time 'losing the leather' from his parachute boots and replacing them with sustainable and non-animal based (and frankly inappropriate) hiking shoes.

The album is in many ways the ultimate teen fuck off. Big Black were rocket guitar fuelled inyerface blankness in a time when Ecstacy was creeping around the edges and everyone was finding love in amongst the trees. It was a matter of honour that you played this album as loud as possible (peversely, it's mastered about 10% quieter than almost every album I own) and that you used it as some kind of log-jam between your inevitably (in Somserset) emerging hippie tendencies. Get some hippies round, start them rolling with some mushrooms and the (for us) newly discovered mysteries of early Pink Floyd and Gong and then, at the peak of the flash, whack on Throbbing Gristle or Big Black to give everyone the fear.

My friend's sister could do a word perfect mime of the whole album, including fretwork, even though none of us could make out the words.

Every track is a winner; the cover of Kraftwerk's The Model, the stopstart mayhem of Columbian Necktie and L Dopa... it's a perfect punk album, made to annoy, utterly lacking in moral philosophy (yeah, whatever) and, perhaps understated at the time, chock full of tunes. Subsequent attempts to mimic the style and content missed this point by a mile, focussing on the power and propulsion without really understanding that there was real pop at the core of Big Black; boil it down a little and flip the guitar lines into retro squiggles and you've got a perfect backing for the latest Rachel Stevens.

All together now...

Big Black - The Power of Independent Trucking


yousendit file

5 comments:

Ian said...

I can't get to the file. Did I beat you there or is there a problem?
Thanks

Loki said...

not aware of a problem unless the limit is already exceeded. i'll check it out....

the X said...

-what's with the dodgy pop-ups?
(on IGTD, nothing to do with the sendit-thingy)
X

Loki said...

dodgy pop-ups? Well, unless you're talking about Kek, Psychboke and Nick Gutterbreakz I have no idea what you're talking about... I haven't seen any. How do you mean dodgy? You mean 'Nympho Nun vs ten year old virgin' dodgy or 'Russian mp3 site' dodgy?

the X said...

(-Every time i go to IGTD, one or two commercial pop-ups emerge out of the blue, trying to sell me gold-laced clocks or viagra or whatever it is...I know it's got nothing to do with you, though, but...Just wondered if it was possible to get rid of it?:-(

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