BIG BUSINESS – Mind The Drift (2009)

Big Business - Mind The Drift I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but a few years after Big Business formed, they became engulfed by The Melvins. And I’m not saying that “their music is eerily reminiscent of The Melvins” kind of way (though that is true); I’m saying that they literally became a part of the legendary sludge ensemble. When the two bands toured together in 2007, Jared Warren and Cody Willis would come out and play a set as Big Business, and then Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover would join them and then they’d play another set as The Melvins (with two drummers). I bring this up only because it’ll give you a great idea of what the Big Business sound is, because everyone (even if they aren’t aware of it) is familiar with the sound of The Melvins on some level or another, be it if they worship Houdini and Bullhead or if they’ve just absorbed the sound in a secondary fashion from the grunge movement.

So, now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to continue – Mind The Drift is a bit of a departure for Big Business. The biggest difference is in the band’s use of guitars; their pummeling, downtuned riffs are now augmented by a cleaner, more melodic guitar which writhes on top of the low-end madness that the band typically work in. How much of this is due to the addition of new guitar player Toshi Kasai can only be speculated, so I’ll leave that up to you. The big question is, does it work? After a few listens, I’m not so sure. Big Business’ previous sound was monstrously heavy; Melvins’ references aside, the band could stand up against the likes of Floor and not look out of place. Musically, they were about as heavy as you could get without wading into Sunn O))) or Khanate territory. This newer sound isn’t bad, but the band don’t feel as powerful while using it, and that’s not a good thing.

If you’re looking for some seriously heavy and twisted music this year, I’d suggest Gnaw’s This Face – it’s a warped, bone crushing experience. And if you want to experience some true guitar bliss, Isis’ Wavering Radiant just might make you black out from too much of a good thing. That being said, I’m not going to not recommend Mind The Drift. Yeah, I know, that’s a cryptic thing to do, but I’m standing by it.

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