Wednesday, August 28, 2013

REVIEW: The Big Sweet - Bicycle Nights

Now that the kids in Canton, Ohio's The Big Sweet are 19 years old, they've released their third full album, and it's a wonderful journey through a variety of guitar- and power-pop styles. Their new one, Bicycle Nights, is partly a continuation of their sound, but it's partly a move in some new musical directions. The Big Sweet is Sam Regas (lead vocals, guitar, songwriter) Brad Berbari (guitar, keys), Matt McDonald (bass), and Drew Watson (drums), and their musical development is on full display here.

Considering that these kids were 15 or so when they released well-received Ultraviolet Rain (WYMA review here), we're not too surprised at the way they combine sweet pop with a dense, baroque approach (including strings and synths in spots) throughout this record, but we are certainly impressed. Again.

Here's "Somber Sighs" - as jangly as the guitars, and as sweet as the harmony vocals are, there's something more here:

It's guitar pop, and catchy as ever... but along with the soaring vocal harmonies and guitars, there are touches like the slightly dissonant piano and ripping electric guitar solo in "Casse La Fleur" and the almost wholly piano-based closing track "Pillars" that hint at a bit of time spent listening to the recent output of Wilco or some of the super-catchy "experimental" pop of WYMA hero Robert Pollard. Either way, those are good touchpoints for rock fans and trace a strong trajectory for the musical ambitions of these teenagers. The album is out now (Aug. 27) and is self-released. It's available via iTunes or CDBaby.


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