Big City Nights - Might Minutes LP // Review

The Big City Nights Band – Might Minutes LP
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Review by Josh 'Pinky' Pothier

When I saw that this album was 19 tracks long I got scared.

See, I’m a lazy guy, and 19 tracks is tedious, especially if it turns out that after the third song everything is just starting to sound the same and I’m just dying for it to be over but NOPE there’s still sixteen songs to go. Then I put the album on, and I figured out why there are 19 songs. There are, in fact, very few songs on this record; it’s all just parts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean its bad. The parts are good. Actually, they’re really good. They’re all over the place stylistically, they’re a little raw, but they’re good. I feel like I’m listening to an awesome record that’s 75% done. It just needs a little refinement in two places.

First of all the arranging. The tracks rarely have more than 2 parts to them, and instead of developing they just kind of stop. Then the next track starts. I just think part of what makes a good band is being able to take a great part -- a melody, a rhythm, anything -- and play with it and alter it so that it develops, but with a hint of consistency.

“Beach Music” has a really cool rhythm that keeps motoring forward and great guitar work, but it just doesn’t go anywhere. If they were playing it at a live show the crowd would have just started to catch onto it and it would be over. “Sleep Kilometres” is also a minute and thirty-five seconds of great stuff, but there is no development. Some parts could even have been mashed together into one song with a little effort and imagination. “In the Back Nine” could have been a cool bridge for “Blue Collar Academic.” This is an solid 8 song record spread out on 19 separate tracks.

The few songs that do feel complete are awesome. “Lump In My Throat” sounds like Retribution Gospel Choir with a bit more oompf, and “Summer Drummer” is this cool Air-esque break that’s totally unexpected but it fits really well. That’s about it though, the rest is a jumbled mess of puzzle pieces.

My other issue is the vocals. Not the melodies or the notes, but how much they are buried in effects. The rest of the music is fairly cut and dried, but the vocals are basting in reverb. Now, I know that singers who aren’t comfortable with their own voice will drench their tracks in effects to hide it, and in all honesty, if these vocal tracks were loud and straight they would probably sound off, he’s not the strongest singer. However, give him five more months of singing these songs live and record them again, and I bet you would have something different altogether. The power is there, it just lacks the confidence. I’m really interested to hear what the album after the one after this one is going to sound like. Experience is the best training there is.

Take note of this review, because it’s probably the only time I’ll ever complain about a band’s songs not being long enough, but these tracks are just skeletons. It’s time to put some meat on the bones.

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Check out Big City Nights on Myspace
http://www.myspace.com/thebigcitynightsband





TNaugler

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