A few weeks ago, I reviewed Big Business's new record
Command Your Weather in the
Indy's print edition. Due to space limitations, we ran a short version of this full review. Here's that review in its entirety.
Los Angeles band Big Business
is a galloping rock and roll band that’s pushed the envelope of heavy, noisy and loud music significantly in their roughly 10-year run. While others like Mastodon came on strong and then lost me with later albums, with Big Business, each new release has been an event, and has kept delivering on the high bar they set early on. If I was forced to compare them, it'd be to bands like Karp, the Melvins, Motörhead. It’s gnarly, large music, but it also has audible, dynamic vocals. And, where lazier reviewers will want to throw this genre their way, it isn’t stoner rock or doom at all. It's too fast, normally, and while it's groovy, Big Biz riffs are not really stoney
in the way that Sleep's are.
Anyhow, following Big Business and hearing them change their sound and update as a band has been one of the major highlights of my last 10 years of listening to music. From their slightly-rough-but-still-brutally-excellent recordings of their very first Tour EP
—described to me once as "like hearing (heavy 90s Tumwater, WA slayers) Karp practice in your basement!"—to the brilliant Head for the Shallow
LP, as hit-loaded a record as you'll find, to the even more massive record Here Come The Waterworks
LP, Big Business has a catalog that runs incredibly deep and is worth exploring, regardless of what you typically find yourself listening to.
Command Your Weather
has flat-out the heaviest vibe of any record in their career. And that's from a band with no shortage of hefty sounds. It starts with “Last Legs,” which is all drummer Coady Willis playing an eerie percussion instrument called the bells. “Regulars” follows, and is my favorite song on the record, largely because it’s unlike every Big Business song that’s preceded it. It’s excellently repetitive , the bass part is pretty much played all on one string, and will mark a milestone for me as a fan where I remember their output before this song, and afterward separately. “Father’s Day” reminds me of a classic Karp tune called "Prison Shake." I’ve listened to this record pretty much every day since I got it, and I keep turning over little details that keep me engaged. It's a hell of a record, and while I don't like describing rock bands with words like "maturity," it definitely is a new chapter in their sound. We may have four more months of 2016 left, but I’m willing to wager that come year-end, Command Your Weather
is at the top of my list.