Big Troubles were formed by a group of kids who had been friends since high school, playing in bands, listening to records and coming of musical age together. As children of the 00’s they’re lucky enough to have a vast history of pop and indie rock to draw upon. Like the best of their peers they’re omnivorous musical consumers, as enamored of classic Brit Pop gems as they are of 90s slacker indie rock. Led by two very gifted singer/song-writers in Alex Craig and Ian Drennan, Big Troubles are that rare beast: a band with two distinctive musical voices that smoothly mesh to create one integrated personality.
Early recordings by the pair were of the lo-fi home recorded variety, but over time they’ve grown (with the addition of drummer Sam Franklin and bassist Luka Usmiani) into a full four piece band to more fully realize their tunes. Their first album Worry (2010) and its attendant singles were excellent fuzz pop records in their own right, but to make their new record the band has taken the step of bringing in help in the form of the legendary Mitch Easter, whose resume includes stone cold classics from the likes of REM, Pavement and his own Let’s Active. With Mr. Easter’s expert engineering help, Big Troubles’ excellent new album Romantic Comedy is a masterpiece of modern pop; a perfect balance of grit and polish, gorgeous guitar sounds and angelic vocals, underpinned by a set of superb songs.
“Misery” is the first taster from Romantic Comedy and a great introduction to Big Troubles, 2011 style. A perfect 2:23 of teen angst fired by a huge bassline and echoed, jangling riffs that are as much 90s Brit Pop as they are 00s indie rock. The sing-along chorus truly seals the deal – this is a band with an ear for a top tune and the ability to hammer it home in a most head-nodding fashion. The rest of Romantic Comedy ably proves that Big Troubles have crafted one of the year’s finest albums, with ace tunes like first single “Sad Girls,” “Misery” and “Time Bomb” being sure-fire entries into the noise-pop canon.
09/22 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands
09/24 Cleveland, OH Beachland Ballroom *
09/25 Champaign, IL High Dive *
09/26 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon *
09/28 Winnipeg, MT Royal Albert *
09/30 Calgary, AB Dickens Pub *
10/01 Edmonton, ALB The Starlite Room *
10/03 Vancouver, BC Biltmore *
10/04 Seattle, WA The Crocodile *
10/05 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom *
* = w/ The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Street date: Sept. 27, 2011
1. She Smiles For Pictures
3. Make It Worse
4. Sad Girls
5. You’ll Be Laughing
6. Minor Keys
7. Softer Than Science
8. Time Bomb
10. Never Mine