September 13, 2010


Douglas Martin is twee as fuck.

I’d understand why you might dislike Big Troubles based on general principle: Too many bands in the past three years have used early-period Jesus and Mary Chain as a jump-off point. And what kind of next-level Internet irony are they trying to pull with their Angelfire-hosted website? Why should we listen to yet another band to come out of the Ridgewood, New Jersey scene that spawned Julian Lynch and Real Estate, a the latter of which has spawned its own cottage industry of side-projects (including Ducktails and Alex Bleeker and the Freaks)? Does Ridgewood even have its own bus line?

Any preconceived notions of Big Troubles should be put to rest through the first run-through of debut record Worry (out now on Olde English Spelling Bee), which siphons garage, 100-degree-weather-damaged surf-rock, synth-pop, and even a little twee through the filter of Psychocandy in its fourteen tracks– its thirty-seven minutes baptized in static. “Georgia’s” mid-tempo pace and bass-heavy dog-days-of-summer feel, is reminiscent of late-80’s slacker-pop, a few years before Pavement redefined the subgenre. Opener “Video Rock” beats fairly-overhyped blog-poppers Dom at their own synth-driven game, while “Creeper” rewrites the half-assed quasi-funk of MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” as driving post-millennial psych.

By the time closer “Astrology Screen Savers”– whose dreamy vibe and wah-wah pedals help the song live up to its title– fades away into the ether, the songs from Worry have already embedded themselves into your brain, but still doesn’t stop you from giving the record another spin or three. The only thing Big Troubles really have to worry about is how they’re going to top such a promising debut. I mean, it’s not like they have to worry about learning HTML code for their website or anything.

MP3: Big Troubles-“Bite Yr Tongue”
MP3: Big Troubles-“Georgia”

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