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Old 08-15-2013, 03:31 AM   #1
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Big country

i know there's already a thread or 2 about this great band, but the first one i found was kinda creepy, so i thought i'd start a new one, seeing as i happened to see Big Country tonight and it was totally awesome, dude.

anyway, the newest incarnation of the band delivers. there's a crazy family feel to the whole thing (i know about bruce watson and his son playing guitar together) that extends beyond the band. they really draw the crowd in. the drummer (Mark Brzezicki - insane next level drumming) gets TONS of hollas from the crowd, and he earns it. Bruce is an insane performer. High kicks and crazy guitar freakouts. he's got dad jeans on and he's sweating and having a GREAT time and it looks cool to me. his son is detached, but leans in when he's needed, and has badass chops. he plays hard enough to break a legit sweat. bass player is no longer tony butler, it's now derek forbes - he's wearing a kilt and strumming his bass like lou barlow. it's awesome.

and all of it could fail if the singer missed the mark. Big Country was a band of magicians - every member with world class chops - but it always revolved around the twists and turns of Suart Adamson's masterful songwriting and the interplay of his and Bruce Watson's asskicking guitar work (FWIW - Bruce and son Jamie really do a fantastic job presenting those interlocking melodies, etc..). so anyway, the whole thing could fall flat if the singer couldn't energize and make you believe the way, i imagine, stuart did. Mike Peters LOVES these songs - you almost get the sense that they're more sacred to him than his own songs, which are pretty badass, if you ask me.


and the crowd was great too. it was at a weird like dinner theater. and there were seats right in the front, which sucked. but pretty quickly, everyone abandoned their seats and got to horsie riding and fist pumping. they'd be a great festival band. if you ever have the chance to see this band, grab it. i don't think you'll be disappointed. after all, they did THIS:

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Old 08-15-2013, 09:24 AM   #2
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, I couldn't go. Now I'm depressed all over again.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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I saw them in June and it was an amazing show. Talked to Mike Peters after the show for a bit - tremendous dude, and a personal hero of mine (I am a cancer survivor as well). The new album has been on heavy rotation in my house since it came out.
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Old 08-15-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:13 AM   #5
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a great recording of the Evanston (Chicago) show popped up on dime. it's awesome, as i trust you'd expect.

so i bought in, scraped together my dirty nickels and dusty dimes, and bought(downloaded) the new album(itunes mp3s) called "The Journey".

boy am i glad i did.

It's corny awesome in the exact same way that the best Boston, Bon Jovi, The Darkness, Thin Lizzy, and, after all, Big Country are. And don't get me wrong, i just listed off 5 of my very favorite bands right there.

The songs are MASSIVE. The music is produced HUGE and Crisp. the same way all those guys i listed up there did and do. You can hear every note from every instrument, and that's no small feat considering the SIZE of each and every song. it's relentless, shoot for the rafters approach reminded me of The Joy Formidable, and the tact pays off with some incredibly memorable songs that serve to extend the legacy of Big Country rather than simply acknowledging it.

or pooping on it.

they acknowledge it, too, by the way, and that's a GOOD thing in this review

Anyway, the songs hold up on their own - it's like listening to zwan if your a pumpkins fan. maybe better. there's a bunch of big, awesome anthems, and in the live settings, the singalongs are already massive (The Journey, Broken Promise Land, Return, Another Country). There's some raging punk, there's some big country-style country, there's some psychedelic shit. There's some ballads (i can never remember the names of ballads), and they're pretty good, too. one thing that's cool about big country is that they often began their songs with patches of dissonant melodies, coalescing together until the song pops out like a big, awesome fart (see their title track, In A Big Country). much like U2 did so well on "Achtung Baby". Big country does some more of that here. i forget where, but it's in there.

Mike Peters voice and range have aged fantastically, too. It's worth hearing it for his vocal performance alone. the rest of the band sound fucking POWERFUL. Mark Brzexiezeki's drumming is nimble and thundering at once. he's a very melodic drummer, like neal Peart scaled back a bit. the guitars are crushing - there's a lot of power chords on there, but lots of that guitar interplay that makes Big Country so recognizable (that and the bouncy rhythms).

anyway, i'm running out of things to say, but let me sum it up this way. The Journey is as good an album for Big Country this year as The Silver Age is for Bob Mould, Oceania is for the Smashing Pumpkins. Like those other records , The Journey adds to the legacy and catalog of an awesome band. I'm glad they all did it.

like those others - somewhere 4-4.5 out of five.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:35 AM   #6
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oh yeah, i almost forgot:

apparently, their new bass player, Derek Forbes, played bass on this album and is the kilted dude at their shows. and he played in simple minds.

he's pretty badass. some of the tunes on "The Journey" have a great, rolling rhythmic drawl that reminds me of some good simple minds tunes. snort if you want, but if you're a u2 fan and you haven't heard 'waterfront' by simple minds...

well you should go and fix that.
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Old 08-17-2013, 03:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dudeman View Post

i mean, imagine this: with a replacement singer, in a sit down club of 2 or 300 people, they got 30- 50 year olds to act like their version of that last video, and then slap everyones hands on their way off the stage (that happened). it happened. so fucking cool.
So fucking jealous.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:34 PM   #8
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Here's some video some fans made of the band playing one of the new tunes.

there are so many little things about it that remind me of U2. it's heart and soul and spirit.

it's really great.

Big Country - 'The Journey' live at Glasgow ABC - YouTube
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:24 AM   #9
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