Previously, Big Deal singer Alice Costelloe was in a band called Pull In Emergency. I think back in 2010, I may have been one of the only Yank bloggers writing about the band. And the band's debut album, reviewed by me here, really was a charmer.
In the last year or so I read about the new band, Big Deal, and only then a bit after that noticed that it featured Alice Costelloe. The sound here is similar to what that earlier group laid down but things seem more robust now and I'm here today to share with you a few thoughts on the new album, Say Yes, out tomorrow on FatCat Records.
If opener "Hold Your Fire" snarls like mid-period Hole, it also soars in spots and it's that sense of release that punctuates so many of these tracks. If the tunes here are indeed indebted to the whole quiet-loud-quiet-template that Pixies and Nirvana favored so much, then they are also more than just nods to the Eighties and Nineties. Instead, on stuff like the title cut, there's a real effort to make this swirling sonic chaos palatable and -- dare I say it? -- catchy. The tune, all big hooks and Warpaint-esque riffs, bubbles and roars in equal measure.
Elsewhere, on the radiant "Veronica", guitar effects take center-stage and the band tap into the same sort of shoegaze vibe that fueled so many classic Ride and Cocteau Twins songs. And yet, Big Deal never get lazy about this sort of thing and one could never say that the act was a bunch of revivalists; these are fresh, largely buoyant tracks that sound as absolutely wonderful on a car stereo as they do booming in your headphones.
Other highlights of this Big Deal album for me were the vaguely Mazzy Star-like "Saccharine", and "Don't Forget" with its big, big, big hooks. Album closer "Idyllwild" one ups Slowdive at their own game and a listener can listen to this and marvel at the range of this group within the confines of the indie tropes at their disposal.
Say Yes isn't a game-changer but it is supremely good indie rock delivered with more economy and dexterity than most bands are capable of anymore. Concise and expansive in equal doses, the 11 cuts here showcase Alice Costelloe's voice as the sort of anchor around which the waves of the fuzzy-and-amped-up guitars race around her.
Follow Big Deal via the band's official Facebook page.
Say Yes by Big Deal is out tomorrow via FatCat Records.