Sunday, March 7, 2010

Heavy Band 004: Big Business

In 2005 while DJing at KBGA (the local college radio station), I came across the sludgiest band that I had heard. Big Business came out with their album Head for the Shallow, an atomic scale assault on clean sounding music. With Coady Willis (the man who gave Murder City Devils their driving, demon exorcising drum beat) on drums they have a forceful beat, the kind of drum beat that you don't want to turn your back on. Coady's screaming in the background adds a punk rock element to their songs, almost someone shouting in opposition to a rally. Jared Warren (formerly of Karp) on bass gives them rumbling bass strings reverberating to their maximum, with lots of overdrive. Jared's bass playing is like getting beaten while you're drunk and throwing up... in a good way. Jared's vocals are soulful yet aggressive, at times screaming past the point that he is horse and pushing it even harder. Initially Big Business started out with just bass and drums, with a friend adding a guitar here or there.
Released in 2005 Head for the Shallow featured the heavy tracks Focus Pocus, Easter Romantic, and Technically Electrified, each demanding to be pushed to the loudest volume possible. This album guaranteed that Big Business would never be played on mainstream radio. The album was too heavy for mass consumption, as has been the rest of their catalog.
In 2006 Big business was deemed so heavy that the godfathers of sludge metal, The Melvins beckoned them to become members of the band. Their next tour had Big Business opening for the Melvins, who then had Big Business as members, including two drummers for the most driving, deafening metal around. Jared grew his hair out into an white man's afro, much akin to Buzz Osbourne's.
In 2007 Big Business released Here Come the Waterworks, proving that their first album wasn't a fluke, they really were that heavy. Here Come the Waterworks featured the heavy hitters Grounds for Divorce, Just as the Day was Dawning, Start Your Digging, and I'll Give You Something to Cry About, which showed that they had a sense of humor in addition to their epic heaviness.
Big Business followed up Here Come the Waterworks with their first album with a formal guitarist. Toshi Kasai was officially announced as a member of Big Business in 2008, and played on the album Mind the Drift, released in 2009. Mind the Drift showed that there is no rest for the wicked, and Big Business is wicked. Track like Gold and Final and Cold Lunch allow Toshi some room to show off his metal chops. The Drift is a slow stoner rock song akin to The Doors Five to One.
Though Big Business has released three of the heaviest albums of all time and are awesome and deafening to see live, their best may still be yet to come. Keep them on your radar, and never turn your back on their drum beat.

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Heavy Metal Yogi by Nick Matthaes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.