Does the name Steve Albini ring a bell? It should. He’s responsible for recording so many classic Gen X-era alt-rock albums: The Pixies’ Surfer Rosa, PJ Harvey’s Rid of Me, Nirvana’s In Utero. A Chicagoan, Albini arguably did more than anyone to shape the anti-commercial sonic stance of today’s indie-rock. His reputation as a no-nonsense yet uncompromisingly aesthetic producer is legendary. He’s in Vegas with his band Shellac to peel paint from the walls of Beauty Bar at 10 p.m. (doors at 9) Oct. 19.
Before and while engineering all those aforementioned musical masterpieces, Albini sang and played guitar in (and recorded) his own bands—Shellac, Rapeman and ’80s underground noise-rock outfit Big Black. The latter had a huge influence on Kurt Cobain, who saw the band as a teenager and aspiring rocker and would later recruit Albini to capture In Utero, the dark and brutal follow-up to mega-selling Nevermind. In terms of style, Shellac isn’t far removed from Big Black. The trio—Albini on guitar, drummer Todd Trainer, bassist Bob Weston—specializes in lurching, industrialized post-hard-core with an emphasis on minimalism, repetition. In its 19-year existence, Shellac has only made four albums, but they’re all necessary. The band’s most recent effort is 2007’s Excellent Italian Greyhound, from which the band will likely draw heavily for their set. Record-shop employees, music geeks and audiophiles will comprise a great deal of the audience, I bet.
Another intriguing band to check out this week is mostly-still-in-their-teens Black Tide, a Miami-based metalcore act, which signed to major label Interscope and recently released its debut album Post Mortem in August. Like some unholy hybrid of Bullet for My Valentine and Judas Priest, Black Tide doesn’t hide singer Gabriel Garcia’s melodic hooks. But you sure have to listen past layers of twin guitar leads, rhythmic breakdowns and double-kick drum blasts to find ’em. Black Tide plays the 48 Hours Festival, 1 p.m. Oct. 15, in Luxor’s parking lot (sorry, “The Luxor Festival Grounds”) as part of a two-day bill (Oct. 15-16) of heavy acts such as Godsmack and Korn, plus local bands-done-good Escape the Fate and Adelita’s Way.
Bach is back! Not the classical composer, but the screeching ’80s metal god. On Oct. 17, local rock heroes Sin City Sinners will join ex-Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach in the Rio’s Crown Theater. As you can imagine, this new, one-night-only ensemble will likely perform the Skid Row smash hits “18 and Life,” “I Remember You” and “Youth Gone Wild.” And with help from his sinful Vegas buds, Bach will belt out his latest solo single “Kicking & Screaming” from his just-released fourth album of the same name. This should be a good time for fans in need of some “Monkey Business.” In other Sin City Sinners news, the band is busy in the studio recording A Sinners Christmas for a November release. Guest appearances include guitar and drum contributions from George Lynch (Dokken) and Slim Jim Phantom (The Stray Cats), respectively.