Big Business measures up to its peers

Edgy twist to metal sound helps band stand out from, not fall short of, predecessors

Keri Carlson

The major problem with musical trends that aim to revamp music from a specific period is that, more often than not, the new bands can’t compete with the old.

Take, for example, oh, say, Interpol. Sure, the group is fairly well-known and has crafted some good songs. But, really, Interpol’s brooding postpunk does not hold up next to their influences, bands such as Joy Division and The Chameleons UK.

Big Business does not sound like Interpol at all. The volume and fury of Big Business would make the fancy-suit-wearing Interpol crawl into a corner. But like Interpol, Big Business is burdened by a sizable number of new bands that all seemingly listened to the same records in the 1980s.

Big Business follows in the heavy vein of such metal bands as Black Sabbath and Metallica.

The metal influence is obvious on the group’s latest album, “Head for the Shallow,” with crunching bass and frantic drumming, not to mention Jared Warren’s vocals that recall Ozzy Osbourne.

But unlike other imitators, Big Business is a very different kind of metal than their influences. Where it would be hard to find an Interpol fan who didn’t like Joy Division, a Big Business fan is less predictable. In fact, he or she wouldn’t have to be into metal at all.

The two members of Big Business come from highly regarded underground punk bands. Warren is from Karp and drummer Coady Willis hails from Murder City Devils. Big Business, however, sounds nothing like Murder City Devils – after all, Willis was just the drummer – but retains the same darkly hypnotic bass rumbles as Karp.

Because the group features only drums and bass, the emphasis of the group is an unrelenting thunder that can be felt in the deepest caves of your chest.

This makes the band perhaps fit in better with a noise scene than a metal one. And it ultimately keeps

Big Business from becoming derivative, emerging instead as a relevant and interesting band.