Big Business with Young Bull, and (the) Medicine Theory
Big Business is a band. They play heavy rock. On that, we can all agree. Things get tricky when you try to classify exactly where on the musical spectrum the dynamic duoâ€™s racket falls. â€œI guess psychedelic heavy metal punk rock? I donâ€™t know. People always say â€˜sludge rock,â€™ which I always found to be lazy and kind of inaccurate,” says drummer Coady Willis. “A lot of our songs are fast, and itâ€™s not like weâ€™re playing a half-assed Black Sabbath riff over and over again. Thatâ€™s been the struggle of the band. Weâ€™re a band that doesnâ€™t really fit into what everyone else is doing.”â€¨â€¨Willis comes from punk rockers The Murder City Devils. His co-conspirator, bassist/vocalist Jared Warren, spent time in noise rock weirdos Karp. Together, they formed Big Business in 2004. The LA-based outfitâ€™s first three albums didnâ€™t quite mesh with Hydra Headâ€™s post-metal aesthetic, but their idiosyncrasies caught the attention of another iconoclastic outfit: The Melvins. They recorded three albums, an EP, and various songs between 2006 and 2016 with that iconic grunge/doom/experimental act, all while maintaining their own identity as Big Business. Along the way, they picked up guitarists Toshi Kasai and Scott Martin, but on 2016â€™sÂ Command Your Weather, they returned to their core duo format. They remain in that lineup on their sixth full-length,Â The Beast You Are.â€¨â€¨â€œItâ€™s just better. We work faster, and we know what weâ€™re both going for. It gives us more room to be weirder in certain aspects and try different things. It makes sense because thatâ€™s how we established ourselves in the beginning and how we learned to write songs together, it was just the two of us. Coming back to that lineup felt natural,â€ continues Willis. The two performed everything on the album, which was recorded between the early November and early December of 2018 at El Studio in San Francisco by Phil Becker (Pins of Light, Terry Gross). Willis, Warren, and Becker handled the mixing, with Carl Saff lending his mastering expertise to the final product. Once more, Warren has hacked up some construction paper for one of his unique cover art pieces.â€¨â€¨With a new, dynamic demoing process leading to the creation of the most songs theyâ€™ve ever written for an album,Â The Beast You AreÂ delivers 13 doses of uncategorizably heavy rock music. From the ominous death march of â€œThe Moor You Knowâ€ to the soaring â€œLet Them Grindâ€ to the delicate, ethereal â€œUnder Everest,â€ Big Business continues to defy listenerâ€™s expectations. No matter the context of their music, however, one thing remains true: they are definitely still a band.