Seeing Big Business is like watching your own house being demolished by a bulldozer. It’s not always graceful, but it has intermittent beauty as you see your pipes burst and your chimney fall to the ground.
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Last night on the Meridian main stage, opening for grunge forbearers the Melvins, Big Business let forth their distinguishing howl. Coady Willis drums in the eternally reuniting Murder City Devils and lead bassist Jared Warren did time in Karp for the better part of the ‘90s. For this show they were augmented by Toshi Kasai, who mainly acts as a guitarist and sound manipulator. This added expansiveness to the band’s already wound-up and claustrophobic churn, turning those lonely drum-and-bass blazes into electronic dirge. Songs like “Grounds for Divorce” became sonic fits of blips and low-end bass.
There is no steady martial groove in BB’s sound. When you do find a place you can dig in at, they jet off to another plateau. It’s like tantric metal. I could tell this was challenging the head bangers waiting for King Buzzo. A highlight was the ominous “Another Fourth of July....Ruined.” Who am I kidding, all their songs sound ominous and edgy. Like waiting for the cop to come to your window after he pulls you over, when you still have that fleeting chance to run.
This is BB in Berlin with Dale Crover on guitar. - Craig Hlavaty