Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big troubles on Olde English Spelling Bee

God damn, who doesn't love that sleeve...just a bunch of crazy bullshit from a childhood...vaguely recognizable...but they're things that could possibly cross over into present day. Those items could actually be useful musically, in the right hands. I think that's some of the best art, reusing common everyday things in new unexpected, serious ways. Like trying to seriously compose music with a guitar hero controller.

Not that Big Troubles is a gimmick band playing on kids toys or something, they just might be trying to reclaim a little of that nostalgia. It's a pretty nice time in your life, the pre-thirteen years and not because of the ninja turtles or go-bots, but more because you really don't care what a lot of the world is doing or thinking about you. You're self aware enough to be semi-independent, but you have no fashion, or music're a blank slate. It seems like if you want to be an astronaut, or play the guitar, you can.

The A-Side 'Bad People' has a snappy plate delay unrecognizable instrument sound that pings around over the murky synths. This is definitely going pop. I was always kind of missing the peppier tracks on that Gary War self titled can be real meditative, not good for driving late at night long distances if you know what I mean. But this has a tapping along tempo, and the sounds are all in the family of Gary's brand of manipulations, it's just harsher, trying to get your attention...demanding it more...unlike Eno and War, who just want you to barely notice what's happening. Big Troubles is a little bit looking for attention and throwing everything into the ceiling fan.

The first track from the B-Side side: 'Drastic and Difficult' has a real harsh cheap electronic percussion track doubled on itself that set it off in a dark glitch direction...sort of like Cold Cave or something and then the layers of guitar echo pile on. A little bit No Age, the overall volume doesn't get past 8, even though the audio waveform is almost a straight horizontal bar of distortions...maybe this is a reaction against the Pixies loud quiet loud, there is a sort of constant drone of sounds that change frequency developing a melody, but that volume level as a sort of emotional signifier for the listener is gone. The aural climax is missing. The shock of a barely audible verse against the crash of all guitar distortion isn't there...did we get tired of this roller coaster of rock? Maybe it's back to an even steady ride from JAMC, or abandon guitars all together and just add layers while bouncing it back on to itself over and over, like a xeox machine feeding the last thing copied back onto the glass...

Actually this track (from the myspace) 'Modern Infancy' sounds a little like the Swirlies and their untuned guitar whammy chord bending...the off tune strumming that finds it's way back in tune by the beginning of the next verse.

Checkout the Olde English Spelling Bee blog for ordering info and a special edition Big Troubles SXSW version of this single, with a more improved collage sleeve. They'll be playing the Glasslands on July 30th...consider this my RSVP.
Big Troubles also has the best angelfire website ever.

Artist: BIG TROUBLES Title: Drastic & Difficult Format: 7" Label: Olde English Spelling Bee Country: USA Price: $6.50 "Kicking off the new OESB 7" series with a 4 track single by Big Troubles. International playboy Matt Mondanile (Real Estate, Ducktails) discovered Big Troubles and urged Olde English Spelling Bee to sign these guys on the spot for their fresh industrial shoegaze pop sound. Done and done. Features home recordings by Alex Craig and Ian Drennan who split songwriting and vocal duties down the middle. They are joined live by Luka Usmiani (No Demons Here) on bass and Sam Franklin (Fluffy Lumbers) on drums. Their debut full-length album, Worry, will be out on OESB in July." - Olde English Spelling Bee.

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