Love him or hate him, Steve Albini has probably worked with at least one of your favorite bands. The audio engineer/singer/guitarist/Big Black, Rapeman, Flour, and Shellac frontman/journalist/asshole’s credits include Nirvana, Pixies, PJ Harvey, Jawbreaker, Cheap Trick, and, um, Bush, among hundreds and hundreds more. (He doesn’t ask for royalties for his work, only a fee for using his studio, which is one of the many reasons artists love him.) In 2012, he’s added his distinct production sound (think booming drums and dry, aggressive guitars with somewhat buried vocals) to two of the year’s finest albums, Cloud Nothings’ Attack on Memory and Screaming Female’s fifth record, Ugly, released today.
Here are 11 of the finest (but not necessarily the 11 finest—you could probably listen to nothing but Albini albums for an entire year and never repeat a track—slightly-more-obscure-than-“Pennyroyal Tea” songs he’s worked on.