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Big Business

Mind the Drift

Hydra Head

Aug 25, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

All that time in The Melvins is starting to rub off on the Big Biz fellas, as they seem intent on perversely sidestepping expectations. This one’s going to divide the fan base, no doubt. Many will see welcome growth; others will wonder what the hell happened. You could do bullet points on the changes (or infractions, depending on your ears):

  • Cleaned-up production
  • A full-time and prominently mixed guitarist
  • The noodly style of said guitarist
  • Epic vocal treatments
  • We’re talking three-part harmonies
  • Periodic radio-ready pop hooks
  • Is that a glockenspiel?

“Found Art” introduces many of these new elements off the bat, with tinny guitars dancing around the usual burly low end. “Gold and Final” makes a great case for those guitar additions, with catchy counterpoint over the droning verses. “I Got It Online” is Black Flag in bell-bottoms. “The Ayes Have It” redresses the Big Business anthem formula in rock opera. It all culminates in the glockenspiel-having “The Theme From Big Business II,” an overblown eight-minute prog opus.

So: many fans will dismiss this on the first listen, basically referring to the bullet list above. But when they dig it out again some late night, they may appreciate all the funny business. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10


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