Review Summary: Not the soundtrack to the ape-wrestling, head-banging, womanizing sludge madness one would expect.
After discovering the masculine nature of my first-born-in-waiting's gender this morning, I scoured my "To Review" queue for something to celebrate. Abstract Rude? Eh, I guess I'll do this real quick, but just as Common finally figured out last year with Universal Mind Control
, conscious hip-hop just isn't manly (and probably never was). Ok done. Gucci Mane? Perfect... my kid's definitely collecting a harem of bitches, benjamins, and bling (when he's old enough of course). Too bad there's no pre-release in front of me.
Ok, what else... metal is pretty manly, actually (see Maddox's Alphabet of Manliness
for proof), so why not the new Big Business? Coming off of a pair of impressive records and involvement with the venerable godfathers of sludge, the Melvins, this could be promising. Of all metal sub-genres, sludge is easily the most testosterone-tailored to celebrations of manhood... Except, don't expect more than one testicle's worth from the original masterminds behind Head for the Shallow
. No, this isn't the soundtrack to the ape-wrestling, head-banging, womanizing sludge madness one would expect. Sheath your boners now.
Instead, Mind the Drift
is an exercise in gimmickry and imitation; the post-somethings have invaded, and it seems that the Big Business trio feels a reprehensible need to co-exist. Gone is singer Jared Allen's rough edge and bassist Coady Willis' aggression, in favor of vomit-inducing clean vocals and spacey, melodic, progressive noodling. Make that inept, spacey, melodic, progressive noodling, as Toshi Kasai puts on his best impression of a prog-rock guitarist playing through a barely operable, reverb soaked Rogue combo. Explosive and just complex enough to pull off excellent drum-and-bass driven sludge as a duo, Allen, Willis, and Kasai have none of the songwriting skills or progressive acumen to pull of their goal as a trio. Mind the Drift comes off as an idiotic amalgam of three-fourths tempo Meanderthal
, Mastodon for dummies, and every post-metal band in existence.
Big Business doesn't suck. On the contrary, the drumming here is superb, and there are sporadically interesting thoughts (see closer "Theme From Big Business II", a genuine stoner-rock anthem). But using Shallow
as benchmarks, this doesn't even come close; it's glaringly obvious that the addition of a third member has wreaked havoc on the formula. There's no heterosexual nut-grinding to be had here, and I know at least one unborn infant that's crying as a result.