Thursday, October 12, 2017

Album Review: Bigfoot - Bigfoot

This has been an odd year for music. Along the way, there have been more truly awful records than I can ever remember, and the good stuff has been evenly distributed among the various genres and sub-genres that I listen to. The one thing that has been lacking is a good ol' fashioned hard rock record. There have been great melodic rock records, but the meat-and-potatoes stuff has been lacking. It's not entirely surprising that there aren't a load of players right now who are masters of the riff, but it does leave a hole for a band like Bigfoot, who are that kind of no frills rock band.

The thing about lacking bells and whistles is that it puts even more emphasis on the elements that are there, which can expose a band's shortcomings. Let's take the first two songs from this record as an example. "Karma" is a deliberate rock song that lacks personality, with vocals that are trying to sing more powerfully than Anthony Ellis is capable of. It's rather bland, and rather mediocre. But then there's "The Fear", which has a far more melodic hook that is very good, but the song spends large portions of the verses with weak sounding guitars and absolutely no drumming. There's nothing pushing the song forward, which makes the whole package seem half-cocked.

After that give and take, the album settles into a groove when the band dips their toe a bit harder into Southern rock. That decision sets them up for better results, as a bluesier and grittier take is where they sound most comfortable. The string of songs from "Forever Alone" to "Prisoner Of War" find the band hitting their stride, and it's a convincing enough group of tracks. If they had delivered an entire album in that mold, it would be something truly interesting.

However, Bigfoot hasn't quite figured out who they are as a band. At times, they're a Southern rock powerhouse, while at other times they try to be a 70's style melodic rock band. It's not just that they're obviously better at one sound than the other, it's that the two don't allow for the album to sound cohesive. There's a big difference between the shorter and longer tracks, both in style and substance, and that's exactly the sort of thing that kills an album.

If Bigfoot had delivered an entire album of their better side, I would be telling you to go check it out. However, they didn't do that, and while half of the album is solid old-school Southern hard rock, there's too much material here that doesn't have that same impact or quality. Look, Bigfoot definitely has the potential to be very good at a particular style. They don't stick with it quite enough on this album, but they do offer up hope that in the future they will deliver on that promise. As it is, this record is a decent starting point.

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