One of North Carolina’s most promising, up-and-coming bands, BIG Something, is kind of a BIG deal.
Formed in 2009, this colorful sextet has been steadily gaining popularity up and down the East Coast, wooing crowds with their invigorating live performances and a unique sound which incorporates funk, jam, electronica and horns. That refreshing sound was originally cultivated on the band’s 2010 debut concept album Stories from the Middle of Nowhere, which was recorded with the help of Grammy-Nominated producer John Custer (Corrosion of Conformity).
Having spent years relentlessly touring around the country, as well as playing numerous high-profile festival spots (including the group’s annual summer music festival The Big What?), BIG Something shows no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, the band has just released their third full-length album entitled Truth Serum, and they are currently touring in support of the album throughout the East Coast.
Regarding the new album, drummer Ben Vinograd noted, “This album is the best representation of who we are on tape; nearly 5 years of relentless touring, practicing, and writing has culminated into one high energy banger of an album. When people ask what we sound like, I want to hand them this.”
After listening to the album, I’d have to agree with Mr. Vinograd. There is definitely a fun, high-energy feel present here that is for sure a solid representation of the band’s diverse and playful live sound. Check out the band’s official Youtube page to see for yourself.
The first track “Megaladon” immediately grabs the listener and sets off the dance party vibe, with a catchy, heavy keyboard riff and stanky, slap-bass lines. Adding to that, singer/guitarist Nick MacDaniels displays his versatility, laying down clean funk guitar and smooth vocals, and then switching to distorted guitars and soaring vocals later on to create a big, ambient chorus. Sprinkle in some impressive scratching from NYC turntablist DJ Logic, as well as ripping guitar and saxophones solos at the end, and “Megaladon” is the perfect song to kick-start the album.
Other notable tracks on Truth Serum include “Sirens”, which utilizes ambient keyboards and distorted guitar pedal effects to create a soothing, yet high-energy instrumental song propelled by the group’s tight, hard-hitting rhythm section. “Love Generator” is a booty-shaking dance anthem that is very reminiscent of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories album. Not to be overlooked, the album’s title-track “Truth Serum” is an epic 9 minute adventure, complete with dissonant female/ male vocals, head-nodding induced rapping, incredibly funky basslines, trippy keyboard riffs and ripping guitar solos and soulful horn leads.
When asked about the recording of the album, singer/guitarist Nick MacDaniels gave some further insight saying, “This is the best energy we’ve ever had in the studio. All of the songs were tracked live as a 6 piece and we really hit some great peaks and moments together.”
Once again, I’d have to agree with the band. Truth Serum definitely hits some great peaks and the high-quality of production, musicianship and composition is present throughout the entire album. On this record, BIG Something continues to astound, capturing their intense, onstage energy and their refreshingly unique sound that their ever-expanding fanbase has grown to love.
Mark McGwin 11/18/14 (@markmcgwin)