The Bigmuffs-Pull Me Out (Indie)
The Bigmuffs, a loud band with a lot of influences, wrote us an email and asked us to listen to their album. Louder Than War’s Chris Hearn did just that and now, althought slightly deaf, he’s happy!
The word that comes to mind when I listen to this album is hodge-podge. Does that actually count as two words? Regardless, this is what it is, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. These guys obviously have a ton of influences and it is all crammed into one full, loud album. Grunge, blues, rock, garage, punk, metal, stoner rock, prog, a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a whole lot of Bigmuff.
They list their influences as Mudhoney, Green River, Pearl Jam, Sonic Youth, Queens of the Stone Age, Helmet and Faith No More. You can hear these dotted throughout, but for the most part they come across as a unique band that has carved out their own sound distinct from their influences.
The Bigmuffs are from Canada’s capital city, Ottawa, eh! They are singer/guitarist Jeremy Stroud, guitarist Adam Wollinger, bassist Forest Yake and drummer Adrian Blackburn. And together they do a good job of making a racket, as is evident on this, their debut full length ‘Pull Me Out’.
This is a good album, I won’t lie to you. There is some excellent guitar work on here. Vocals are nice and gritty, strained and damaged. The drums take a thorough pounding and pummeling! And my headphones got a good thrashing. There is plenty of raw energy ripping through this stuff. Lots of good feedback on the guitar which is something I love. Stroud is an excellent frontman. I just love this guy’s voice. It has a unique quality to it. I don’t know how to describe it. He just has a different sound, and it really sets this band apart from others. And the power! Man he has a good set of lungs on him!
I like the straight ahead garage rock punk of ‘TV Glow’. I give the band a lot of credit for “pushing the envelope” (for the lack of a better description) on a song like ‘With a Little Help’, but I find it a little bit jarring and am not overly fond of the result. But to give them credit, they tried something different! A for effort.
‘A Great Excuse’ is just a good, heavy, hard, pounding rawk song that reminds me of ‘Fuel’ by Metallica! I must mention ‘Slovenian Goat Stew’ mainly because of it’s a cool name. It’s a good instrumental as well, I should point out, with some interesting twists and turns. Closer ‘Ready’ is a good, slow blues based stoner psych track which lies in stark contrast with the more indie garage rock and pop opener/ title track ‘Pull Me Out’. And everything in between is equally as unique, interesting and intense.
The production on this album is top notch, and I have to give them a lot of credit for how slick (but not too slick and over produced) and well put together this is, while managing to harness the energy and rawness of the band. I suppose a good part of this comes down to producer Mike Raymond, so good work Mike!
All in all? Good stuff! This is a solid, solid debut from this four-piece band. They should be proud of what they accomplished here. They have shown clear talent and pure energy, producing a good, loud album with lots of creativity. It’s worth picking up if you like any of the aforementioned influences, or even if you just like good rock music played and produced well.
Words by Chris Hearn. More writing by Chris on Louder Than War can be found here.