Saturday, February 12, 2011

Brick Layer Cake - Tragedy Tragedy

Brick Layer Cake is the solo joint of Mr. Todd Trainer, the zombie drummer that props up the kit behind Shellac performances. Apparently he plays every single instrument on the BLC albums, meaning you get more primal stomp, plus crunchy lead guitar and harrowing, monotonous vocals, to boot.

Tragedy, Tragedy reminds us that Shellac also covers Thin Lizzy, as well as industrial art rock like Swans and Birthday Party, and Brick Layer Cake is blue-collar glam. It stomps. It kicks. It spits. But it also sings. Most of this stuff is a pretty bummer groove, as most of Mr. Trainer's bands would suggest that he's not the most gleeful of characters. But what Brick Layer Cake also shows us that here's a remarkably talented musician, and this record has actual SONGS. Good songs, although the cumulative effect of listening in one sitting can be rather heavy, somewhat oppressive, similar to Shellac. But clearly he has a mission! He has a vision, and he realizes it remarkably well on Tragedy Tragedy. Steve Albini said it best, "think of Nick Drake on downers, fronting Black Sabbath, if Black Sabbath only played the good parts of their songs." What a way with words.

BLC was one of those Touch and Go bands whose name i would see in catalogs, but they escaped me, even as i was pillaging the back-catalogs of Killdozer and The Jesus Lizard, and i've been rather unhealthily obsessed with Shellac for 1/3 of my life now. But i'm just now, finally, getting a chance to get into this band, and richer for the experience. I noticed that there was not a quality rip of Tragedy Tragedy around, so i thought i'd fulfill a public service, and turn y'all on this rather neglected jewel.

If anyone out there happened to have a decent copy of Whatchamacallit lying around, from 2002, i'd love to hear it.

Brick Layer Cake - Tragedy Tragedy


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