Big Business - Mind the Drift (CD)
Catalog number: HH666-175
After two albums as a bass-and-drums duo, Big Business has added a guitarist, Toshi Kasai, for its third release, "Mind the Drift." The group's two original members have quite a pedigree on the noise-rock circuit: Bassist-singer Jared Warren (ex-Karp) and drummer Coady Willis (ex-Murder City Devils) have supplemented the rhythm section for Seattle grunge band the Melvins since 2006. In Big Business, Warren always used to play his bass like a guitar, adding tremendous power and volume to Willis's thunderous percussion. The addition of a guitar has surprisingly softened the group's sludgy sound but only a little bit. Warren's typical howl has relaxed to a bellow. It's like they've become more of a rock group and less of a metal band. Warren's booming bass is still there, but the spotlight has shifted to guitar. Kasai's squealing guitar flourishes supplement the boisterous low tones while the staggering energy shows a cohesive new three-instrument sound.
Overall the album's production seems more rockish, epic, accommodating the fact that they are now a power trio and no longer a bombastic duo. Whereas Big Business in the past was like two large boulders barreling down a mountain and dragging smaller debris along with them, those boulders have splashed down into a swiftly moving river which has the flotsam of a large ship roiling and dragging along the surface. We are now following that flotsam, floating with it, being dragged under the foamy surface, gasping for air and seeing the sun refract in our eyes while we hope for salvation.