Things change. It is the one constant in life. Nothing always stays the same. It is the natural order of things. And that can be tough to deal with. You can fight it all you want, but it almost always results in abysmal failure. When change rears its head, you have only two choices: you can fight it in a hopeless war of attrition where you will lose, or you can embrace and make it your own. You have the choice to accept the change and make it work for you. Change can happen in a myriad ways, and Big Business is here to show you that you don’t need to worry about it too much.
The duo of Jared Warren and Coady Willis has certainly made big changes over the years to the group. Warren and Willis started Big Business as a duo of bass and drums but expanded it starting in 2008 with the addition of Toshi Kasai on guitar and keys. It expanded again in 2010 with the introduction of Scott Martin on guitar. Certainly this expansion resulted in a change to their original sound, but the band had reverted to a duo by 2014. It was back to the big bass synth riffs all covered in sludge with huge drums. It was the right move as this sound is a pretty unique one that only Big Business is capable of.
While The Beast You Are isn’t their first outing since returning to a two-piece, it does represent a bigger sound than they’ve put together before. Warren employs a bass synthesizer to really grow and beef up his bass and results in a giant wall of sound from his parts on the tracks, but there’s also a production clarity to The Beast You Are that Big Business hasn’t really had before. Previous records had a lo-fi kind of quality to it. Which is really a benefit when your sound requires a lot of dirt like theirs does. However, you can really hear and feel everything on the new record in a way that you couldn’t on previous records.
Apart from all that stuff, this is the Big Business you’ve come to know and love. The big sound is there, the riffs are there, even the punny song titles have come back in a great way. I could tell you about “Abdominal Snowman” or “The Moor You Know,” but the lead single and final track “Let Them Grind” is just too perfect. It’s a great track for the band. Warren’s huge bass synth riffs block out anything else you could experience in life when the track is going, and Willis’s drums give the track a great direction and purpose. This record is half full of these tracks of no-nonsense sort of writing, but the other half of more experimental kinds of songs and interludes break that up and make it all the more interesting. It’s completely brilliant and exactly what you’d want from the band.
This record is one of the coolest I’ve heard this year. Big Business knows exactly what they’re about. They play big riffs loudly and have a ton of fun doing it. They dabble in experimenting with song structures and sounds enough to mix things up a bit. Their sound is unique enough that it makes sense to do both things and still be really interesting. This record is their most exciting record to date and should be on everyone’s to-do list to listen to. Good thing you only have to wait a few days from the posting of this review to engage it.
The Beast You Are is available April 12 via Joyful Noise Recordings.