Review: Big Business – The Beast You Are
National Music Reviews
The Beast You Are
Big Business = Torche + Eternal Elysium + Melvins
Big Business offer up hints of stoner metal, punk, psychedelic rock and post-metal. They decided to stick with their original duo, Coady Willis (drums, backup vocals) and Jared Warren (bass, synth bass and vocals) for their two most recent albums. Willis hails from The Murder City Devils, bringing his punk roots to light in Big Business, while Warren came from Karp, bringing a post-hardcore feel to the band.
The Beast You Are was more enjoyable to me than their previous albums. The album was recorded in El Studio in San Francisco. On earlier records, Big Business had guitar on their records (Scott Martin was the guitarist from 2010–14, and Toshi Kasai was the guitarist from 2008–12). Not having a guitarist has allowed them to focus on their original sound. The vocals in this album, as with their previous albums, focus on complementing one another. There are more tracks on The Beast You Are than previous albums, and the songs seem more focused on rhythm and complex beats.
The album opens with “Abdominal Snowman,” a track drenched in synth bass and heavy beats. The next song, “Heal the Weak,” maintains the same energy as the first track while focusing heavily on the drums and breaks. From there, the album rolls into an interlude, “Complacency Is Killing You,” cleansing the listening palate for the next track, “Bright Grey,” which holds true to the main sound of the album.
“Time and Heat” slows the speed of the album down, relying on heavy synth and repetitive vocals, which flows into “The Moor You Know,” an epically dark masterpiece.
Following, “People Behave” is laden with dancy beats, including a sprinkling of sleigh bells in the background, heard throughout the album. “El Pollo” has more of a stoner metal sound, featuring repetitive riffs, while the drums break up the steady repetition. The album breaks with another soft interlude, enveloped in happy, upbeat vocals on the track “We’ll Take the Good Package.”“Last Family” is a track reminiscent of the band Sleep, with a more upbeat tempo. The band does a good job breaking up the repetitive riffs by using unique drumbeats that draw the listener in. The tintinnabulation of sleigh bells and wind chimes ring in on “Under Everest,” which is laced with harmonizing vocals. The album closes on theme with “Let Them Grind,” full of saturated-in drum rolls and fills that emanate a post-metal sound.
This album kept my interest the whole way through, “The Moor You Know” being my favorite track. Big Business do a good job of throwing all sorts of different musical influences into the mix while still holding true to their unique sounds. From the sleigh bells to the interludes, this is not a normal metal band. If you’re looking something new and interesting to listen to, this band is worth checking out. (Metro: 05.23) –Jean Carmichael