• Fri, Sep 21, 2018
Reviews

Big Bang Blues - Bigger Than Blues

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album Reviews Nov 11, 04:08pm

AKHIL SOOD You gots to feels the blues to sings the blues, I believe. Or to

AKHIL SOOD

You gots to feels the blues to sings the blues, I believe. Or to understand them. Sadly, it’s a concept that’s largely bypassed my cerebral space. Indulge me for a second here, but it’s something I really can’t connect to, other than, say, the odd BB King record or some particularly enchanting section in a Hendrix song, even though the sound is superficially very easy to appreciate, and quite aesthetically pleasing too. Except for John Mayer’s soulless wankery that somehow makes it OK for him to write shitty music just to become rich and famous; let’s not even go there. Now that my irrational biases are out of the way, let’s talk about the record itself.

The number one flaw with Bigger than Blues as an Indian release in 2012 is that it screams out its allegiances from the word go. It tries exceptionally hard to sound like a blues record; indeed, the very first song, ‘Disrespected’, has the vocalist announcing brazenly that she’s a “blues gal”. It’s generic. And mildly putting off. But also understandable, since the band doesn’t make any grand pretensions about being anything but.

But looking beyond the limited experimental aspirations, Big Bang Blues write stellar music. Right from the opener in this five song record, the songs are bright, catchy, and powerful, and the whole band seems to function as a cohesive unit. The guitar playing is fancy without heading into ostentatious territory, with the eight-minute long ‘Sweet Bridge’ bordering on a typical wankfest, but never quite crossing the line. The warmth of the instrumentation, as well as the meaningful direction that it heads in, is commendable. But then, ‘Lovestruck Blues’ is as unashamedly standard as it gets, with the bar blues flung repeatedly in my face until I tapped for submission. But it’s a minor blip as, despite its very stock introductory riff, ‘Moonless Nights’, the closer, brings the album back to its very endearing and pleasant disposition soon after, concluding the album with a bang (ugh; pun entirely unintended).

A special mention must go to the vocalist for pretty much holding things together and showcasing an excellent ability to capture the emotions of the music and expressing her melodic delivery with just the right amount of angst. Sure, she’s loud, often brash, and almost bursting at the seams at times, but that’s a justifiable byproduct of conviction. Indeed, the one thing that truly sticks out about the Big Bang Blues is just that; their conviction.

Another special mention must go to the Big Bang Blues and their album Bigger Than Blues, which also includes their song ‘Lovestruck Blues’, for the impressively high number of times the word ‘blues’ appears in the record. Just so that we don’t mistake it for a death metal record. I’m at 427 and counting…

Bigger Than Blues is available for purchase at http://www.oklisten.com/album/bigger_than_blues

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