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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Atomizer

Big Black

1986

Atomizer

Album Summary

Atomizer is the debut full-length album by American punk rock group Big Black released in 1986.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.81

Votes

3279

Genres

  • Punk
  • Rock
Reviews
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5

Even if it's abrasive as shit, it's still very accessible and likable. Love Durango's and Steve's driving guitar, Roland plays the drums like a damn machine. The bass sounds beautiful. Also, Steve's delivery is spot on and the lyrics, even if they're simple in nature, when paired with the music, want me to punch a hole in the wall in sheer rebellion, anger, and hatred towards the world and the state we're headed. Oh, and it was recorded in 1985, some 35-40 years ago, and it still feels like it was recorded yesterday. Holy shit. A landmark in music. Fucking recommended the whole way. Also, Steve, if you're ever reading this, I love you and everything you do.

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5

5.0 - Came to this with low expectations and they were immediately shattered. I've come to respect Steve Albini's exalted status as a producer. Now I'm in awe of him as a complete artist. The interplay of brutal drum machine, growly bass and clear vocals situated defiantly in the foreground - these elements make this album feel timeless. And the guitar sounds! Dry, gnarly, industrial. "Kerosene" is an obvious standout - so bleak! How do they conjure a screeching pterodactyl on "Passing Complexion"?? This album sounds nothing like what I know about 1985.

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5

And this will stay with you until you die

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4

Wholesome songs about paedophilia, racial passing, abuse of power in the police force, arson and self-immolation, shame, fist fucking and domestic violence, alcoholism, the tale of a Vietnam vet who becomes a contract killer (or is it really about drug addiction), the rat race, and cattle slaughter in abattoirs. The aural equivalent of suffering blunt force trauma to the head from a sledgehammer, these guys are so nasty, hard and bleak, that they make everyone else’s music sound as light and fluffy as a Disney movie soundtrack.

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5

Still love this album. Bleak, angry, raging, powerful stuff. I don't think they ever bettered this, although Songs About F*cking comes very close.

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5

punk album

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5

Loud noisy fun. Always worth a revisit.

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5

Damn... dehä e hårt

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5

A big noise from big boys. I have this on vinyl and still play it often. I believe Nirvana ripped BB off with a lame, sanitized version. This is the real deal.

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4

Rough and gritty. Good.

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4

Did not expect to like this so much, but it fucks pretty hard. 4.25

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4

Fun, verryyyyyy similar to Minor Threat. Good, yes.

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4

What a ride

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4

You have to listen to this loud to match the vocals with the instruments or else you’ll hear more instruments than the vocals. Which is either brilliant for a punk band or just because I listened on YouTube

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4

Probably not one I'd listen to again but it really grew on me as I listened. Some great, heavy riffs. Standout track: Bazooka Joe

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4

Had not listened to this one before. But it's very good. Sort of a punk rock/industrial thing. Reznor of NiN was probably a fan of this album. I liked it.

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4

This is a great album. I was very into hardcore punk when this came out and it was just… different sounding but with all the intensity and emotion.

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4

Is it punk, metal, industrial? All of the above.. Great album that help pave the way for industrial metal bands suck as Ministry, NIN, KMFDM. Great album. Kerosene is so damn good.

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4

I'm not sure I'll remember much of this tomorrow but it's really good fun while you listen to it. I dare anyone to listen to Strange Things and not nod their head manically along to the beat.

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4

Pretty cool, shame it's not on Spotify though 4

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4

That was angry fun. I heard bits of The Pixies as well as some angsty metal. There was a pop sensibility hiding in well constructed, musical songs.

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4

very fun noisy stuff. might be my favourite punk album now

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4

Clxssic. The pounding drum machine, Albini’s inelegant delivery, and the sound they produce from their metallic guitars is either stunningly ghastly or like you’re being run over with a bulldozer. That being said, there are better noise-rock albums out there… well deserving of being on this list, nonetheless

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4

Pangarrre

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4

Um, yes please. May I have another? I'm really embarrassingly unfamiliar with most of Albini's own music (though I have listened to Shellac some), but I loved this! Absolutely scratches the itch of early Ministry and all that Wax Trax industrial stuff, but still has a quality to it that's entirely separate from that scene. Weirder guitar sounds and noisier perhaps? Whatever you want to call it, I would have loved this in 1993 and kind of can't fathom that it came out in '85. Btw, did you see the news that Steve Albini won like $150k in a poker tournament recently? Can you imagine playing cards with that dude? Ha. Anyway, this one was way up my alley and has given me a sliver of hope in this list yet. Will we see a Ministry record? Skinny Puppy? Nipple rings crossed, dudes.

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4

You can hear so much of Albini's influence – whether it be the song structure, sound, or production – on grunge/alternative/punk/HC. Collectively, the songs work well together. Definitely will revisit in the future.

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3

I'm too old to waste time listening to this fucking guy yell at me for an hour. Beats are interesting I guess.

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3

Meh

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3

Reminds me of Rage, Grew on me second time round, Might come back later. 5/10

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3

Strong 3, wiggy music

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3

One of the more yikes-inducing albums on the list, I'm sure. I hope Steve Albini is confused by my having listened to as flac files taken from a vinyl edition.

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3

Punk oscuro. Ni fu ni fa.

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3

Liked the instrument play but did not like the screaming, felt out of place

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3

Never heard of this album or band before...but man there are some crazy tracks here...If I ever had a budget could see using some of these in a film. Fists of Love and Kerosene being two off the top of my head.

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3

It explains a lot about where Albini is coming from. I enjoyed this.

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3

Meh

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3

first listen very harsh industrial sound and i didn't not like it

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3

Not available on Spotify. Found on your tube. Pretty good.

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3

Good punk/industrial record for it’s time, definitely a pioneer. Poor quality recording and redundant songs dropped this one down for me, but still great stuff

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3

I don't know about this one

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3

punk bem executado.

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3

They have this industrial sound that I'm used to with CSS.

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2

Lidt noget larm, men der var fin gang i det.

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2

Lot of energy but I just didn't like it.

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2

Too hard too fast too loud

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2

Found this one a bit hard to listen to

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2

too abrasive for my liking

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2

2, ne sviđa mi se, naporno za slušat

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2

Thos was pretty shitty.

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2

I like this genre, but not this album

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2

Heavy, driving, hard, too much for these old ears

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2

Bij de eerste nummers dacht ik het te moeten doorworstelen. Maar al bij al was het niet 'verschrikkelijk'

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2

mehh

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2

One halfway-interesting track and a whole lot of noise. Best track: Kerosene

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2

I just can’t win.

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2

Not sure if it's the YouTube quality but this sounds way more industrial than punk (to be fair I'm not schooled on the cross over there)

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2

Couldnt play it on spotify

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2

Too much for me, no thanks.

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2

Deliberately trying to make bad music in the 80’s must have been very dificult

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2

2.5

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2

2/5

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2

не доступен

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2

I'm really torn with this one. I liked the energy and some of it really had me hooked. But the production sounded off to me - too thin or small or something? And the more I listened to it, the more I wanted it to end, which isn't great. I won't go back unless some really explains it to me.

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2

You have to be on Spotify to exist. It's a shame since the bit I listened to on YouTube sounded pretty cool

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1

Just not for me

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1

Just not me. Tried hard, but this didn’t move the needle.

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1

Сверх ужасная музыка. Записывали явно на кухне

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1

Einstaka sinnum skemmtilegt gítarsarg og gott beat, en miður skemmtilegt umfjöllunarefni í textunum og á köflum of fráhrindandi fyrir mig. Æi, ég nenni þessu ekki.

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1

Not my thing. Couldn’t get through it

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1

Not on Spotify

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1

Hated it.

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