Big Bill Record Review

Stand by Your Bill

Big Bill Record Review

Absurdity can act as a diversion from the meat of a group's material, but for Big Bill, it's an ethos. On the Austinites' first full-length release, and after a half-decade smattering of smaller takes, the troupe cuts out the fuzz for clean, professional, punk clowning. Rambunctious start "What Do You Want on Your Salad?" polls for ranch, Italian, or balsamic, setting a precedent for movingly strange interactions. Influenced by the uplifting combustion of homegrown Eighties funk-punkers the Big Boys, Big Bill keep things riotous but also PG-13. Any anti-establishment dejection sneaks out around Eric Braden's zany rhyme schemes (infirmary/mortuary/cemetery on "Pharmacy") and deadpan nasal delivery, ditching classic hardcore aggression. Song three builds a chant for the Texas state capital's new impostor syndrome generation: "Gonna trick everybody into thinking I'm a somebody." Morbidly funny "Baby Go Wah" surprises with slow dance sweetness, while memorable declaration "Clint Eastwood Is My Dad" is a mock/earnest metal duel. Final short story "Last Meal" comes full circle with a salad offering. It's the essence of Big Bill, granting reverence to something leafy and random.

****

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