Local Reviews: Big Black Sky

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Big Black Sky
Inside Passage
Self-Released
Street: 11.08.09
Big Black Sky = Leftover Salmon + Son Volt + Flash Cabbage
It’s always good to hear local music that differs from the norm.  This debut CD from Big Black Sky is a unique-sounding animal in the sense that it sounds different from almost everything else going on in Salt Lake these days.  But different isn’t always good.  Sure, BBS straddles the musical line between traditional roots rock and the alt-country sound that seems to be doing so well in the local scene. And lyrically, the 11 tracks on Inside Passage are all quite thick—weaving together stories about criminality, natural disasters and old, departed authors.  As a local release it’s good, but it’s not really that remarkable.  I wanted it to either hit harder or to mellow out more.  Instead, the disk seemed to follow that familiar, well-traveled path that has led so many to mediocrity.  The music seemed worn out, and the lyrics seemed a little too concerned with dropping literary references to really flow well.  Plus, the intro to “Nevertheless a Mess” reminded me a little too much of a Rod Stewart song.  I mean, come on guys, if you’re looking for oil, there are better places to drill.