BIG BLACK CLOUD: Dark Age: LP

It’s good to know that there are new bands coming out that defy easy pigeonholing. Big Black Cloud has a sound that is all over the place, and where other bands attempting the same would fail, these guys pull it off with class. A mix of psychedelia, post punk, weirdo rock, noise, no wave, and lost creature feature soundtracks. The sound is dark, drenched in noise and distortion, with some chaos bubbling up. How they manage it all is a mystery. I’m pulled into the maelstrom by the bass playing, which keeps it simple but is incredibly effective, proof that you don’t need to be a noodley bass player to be a great bass player. You just have to know how much to play. Less is more. Then, as the bass leads me along, I notice there’s an organ in the sound that gives everything a certain air of creepiness (a good creepy—there is such a thing!) and an indicator that there’s more going on than initial glances reveal. Guitars ring out and sound like air raid warnings at times, then they jab like knives in the dark, the drums smash and careen, and the singer sounds like he’s losing control. The lyrics are no slouch either. In fact, they’re some of the most interesting I’ve heard in some time. The song titles would make you think these songs are just some sassy shit. However, the words are poetic and not so clear cut, but not opaque either. Check out “Fancy Fux” or “Vulcan Rock” with the lines, “In this dark age of men in caves/ The years come and change, but life stays the same.” Or “Time to Waste” brought on by the despair that the season fall brings. Really, just check them all out. Musically, “Huff Party #9” is a standout track. It consists of a guitar-clanging riff that repeats over a equally repetitive and effective bass line. Amid all this are washes of noise, a trumpet that comes out of nowhere, makes some blurts, then goes away as fast as it came. Really good stuff here.

 –M.Avrg (Stankhouse)