Big Business
Here Come the Waterworks


4.5
superb

Review

by SomeGuyDude USER (35 Reviews)
June 17th, 2014 | 4 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Awesome Melvins-y sludge from two guys who made an awesome album with Melvins. What else do you need to know?

Big Business is an exercise in contradiction, although the formula might strike you as familiar. The album title "Here Come the Waterworks" feels clearly tongue in cheek, but the lyrics are apocalyptic in the highest. Bassist/vocalist Jared Warren will perform with his hair up in an afro or in pigtails and wearing a nightgown or some kinda samurai costume, but the music is tar black sludge with vocal delivery like that of a drunken sailor bellowing into the dark.

Does that sound a bit Melvins-y" Well it should, because Big Business are heavily inspired by Melvins and were good enough at it that they were invited to record with the sludge godfathers themselves.

First, a minor confession. I first discovered Big Business and Melvins at the same time via that collaborative effort, (A) Senile Animal, and at the time I hadn't realized this was in fact two bands uniting for a single project. I just remembered hearing "A History of Bad Men" and being entranced by the vocal delivery. Embarrassingly, I thought it was Buzzo himself at first, and was confused when I went back to Houdini and Gluey Porch Treatments and the sound was wildly different. I later discovered my error and eagerly snapped up this LP.

Big Business may be indebted to Melvins, but that's not to call them apes of the style. BB moves more quickly, with more insistence. The tracks on HCtW aren't slowly trudging along, but they still carry the familiar weight and heft. Although nothing on HCtW could be considered especially quick by most standards, there is a good gallop to this album. Jared's bass work is often the star of the show, and it wouldn't be out of line to call Big Business a sludge version of Lightning Bolt. There is guitar on this album, but it plays a support role in most tracks a la Ler from Primus, giving tracks a fantastic texture to them. Behind that sits Coady Willis, who flings himself about his drum kit with near reckless abandon. Even his marching rhythm at the end of "Another Fourth of July" sounds like barely contained chaos. I'm sure the guitarist is a good guy, but this is the Jared and Coady show.

Jared's vocals do need special attention. The man can simply howl. Each line he shouts comes out like a cannon, with even his cleaner singing maintaining that edge of desperation. Paired up with the armageddon-bleak lyrics, it gives each track a drive and purpose, even if that purpose is to warn you of the oncoming end and that there's nothing you can do about it. "Shields" is particularly quotable for its lines which manage to be ominous and haunting without coming across as try-hard.

What could go wrong I can't count the number of ways
You could be mauled or burned for starters
You could still drown in knee deep waters
That's enough to hold up and hide in the cave

What could go wrong I can't count the number of ways
You could be struck by lightening walking
Look at the cross and your soul starts talking

Sludge production is often a hairy proposition, with many bands opting for ultra-fuzz or lo-fi to give it that needed grit. Somehow, Big Business got it in their heads that going to a guy who worked with Band of Horses and Modest Mouse was the best course of action, and the result is a huge, spacious, crystal clear album where every sizzle of the hi-hat and pluck of the guitar can be separately distinguished. Rather than masking lackluster composition via dirty production and calling it "atmosphere", Phil Ek made sure we can hear every single motion of the band, which is good because their composition is anything but lackluster. I wish more albums were made this way.

With eight songs in forty minutes, Here Come the Waterworks isn't over too quickly nor does it overstay its welcome. It's all it needs to be, and more than enough to make you want to give it another spin.



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user ratings (85)
Chart.
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
ExcentrifugalForz
June 17th 2014


2124 Comments


not bad

I could use some more sludge in my life

osmark86
June 18th 2014


9029 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

if so, this is a good album for that purpose.

Wizard
June 18th 2014


20209 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Props for reviewing this.



Not a bad review by any means but I think your blatant comparison to the Melvins, as spot on as it is, could use a bit more subtlety. When I read the review, I kept thinking to myself, "You mention the Melvins more so than the band itself".



And fuck the neg'er. At least provide some constructive criticism please.

SomeGuyDude
June 18th 2014


374 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's kinda hard to review Big Business without bringing up Melvins a bunch, considering they've recorded albums under the name Melvins and toured as Melvins on several occasions. I love this album to pieces but they ARE kind of a Melvins offshoot.



God damn I said "Melvins" four times in two sentences just now. Okay I'm gonna go back and see if I can trim the namedropping a bit.



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