Big Business - Command Your Weather [Joyful Noise Recordings/ Gold Metal Records - 2016]Big Business are an avant garde metal band from Seattle, Washington. The band are a two piece made up of bassist, Jared Warren and drummer, Coady Willis, both of whom also play as members of the Melvins. Command Your Weather, released on Joyful Noise/Gold Metal Records, is the band’s fifth full length outing and features regular collaborator Scott Martin on guitars.
Opening track Last Legs is the intro to the album, beginning with an electronic drone and what sounds like a xylophone, oddly it is rather reminiscent of Siouxsie and the Banshees. As explained this is literally an intro track and as such is short, and sweet, and essentially prepares the way for the music that follows.
Next up is Regulars a full blooded, upbeat doom metal track, raw slashing guitar riffs hint at a deep love of classic punk rock and there is a real NWOBHM feel to the vocals. Father’s Day follows up in a very similar vein. One is reminded of the work of Bobby Liebling’s Pentagram or even Saint Vitus.
Blacker Holes, starts with drums and vocals creating a somewhat different feel, once the guitars crash the party we’re back in familiar territory. More of the same, but the band have a sound all their own, the songs are reasonably strong, and the performances are of a high standard.
Popular Demands is slow, grinding and heavy, but buried in the mix are keyboards, which add a certain amount of extra melody and depth to the track. The vocal hooks are poppy and give the songs an unusual, and not unpleasant feel. The track breaks down in the last couple of minutes, descending into ambient territory, for the long fade out.
Own Throats gets us straight back into heavier territory, but again those vocal hooks are so sweet it almost feels less like a heavy metal record, than it perhaps should.
Send Help begins with some lovely psychedelic pop vocals backed by an almost organ like synth sound. One is reminded of the woozy carnival type sounds of bands like The Strawberry Alarm Clock, albeit a much darker interpretation of that sound. The track provides a welcome change in pace and style, sat among the heavier material, and shows off the band’s unique selling point, those wonderful melodies, and vocal hooks.
Diagnostic Front sees us well and truly back in heavier territory, whilst there remains a psychedelic influence to the music, it works almost as a reminder of the previous track’s woozy, psychedelic pop.
The albums finale Horses is a full on doom/sludge assault. Crushingly slow, monolithic riffs are compensated by a wealth of space for the riffs to flow into. This space allows the music to breath and creates a menacing, sparse sound, before the track builds, very briefly into epic doom metal, only to fall away again and end on a more reflective note with the sound of bells bringing proceedings to a close.
Big Business are a fascinating band who blend a variety of metal styles with a very developed sense of melody and an eclecticism to create something very unique and fresh. The vocal hooks create an interesting juxtaposition to the traditional metal riffs, and provide the album with one of its main selling points. If you like your doom tinged with psychedelic pop then this is most definitely worth your time.Darren Charles