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Big Lad
Power Tools Jared Dix , September 17th, 2021 08:11

Out now on Hominid Sounds, the new Big Lad record is a sweaty, high octane rush, finds Jared Dix

Like some gurning random getting up in your face, jabbering ten to the dozen about God knows what before grinning like Buddha and wandering off, Big Lad are manic, sweaty, and weird. Somehow friendly and threatening at the same time. Extra, in the parlance of our times. If initial contact can be confusing it doesn't take long to see where things are headed. The first track on new album Power Tools is called ‘Big Juggernaut Rave Party’ and functions pretty well as a description of their sound (although for speed, just Juggernaut Rave would cover it).

A vivid floor shaking rumble with Motörhead momentum, Big Lad’s music is loud, fast, and veering off the road. A product of the overdriven mind of Wayne Adams (Pet Brick, Wasted Death, Death Pedals) and the superhuman drumming of Henri Grimes (Shield Your Eyes, Reciprocate) the duo crank Daft Punk's ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’ credo way past eleven and cackle as the machines start to smoke. ‘Big Juggernaut Rave Party’ has an excellent video (by Mike Bourne of Teeth Of The Sea) that takes Transformers to the rave. Animated trucks turning into disco robots perfectly capturing the essence of the band. Optimus crump.

Back when the likes of Venetian Snares and Bong Ra were on an impossible roll, if you’d suggested to me that getting in a real drummer was the way forward for Breakcore I’d have laughed in your face, but here we are. Big Lad bolt the gleeful fluoro silliness of something like Knifehandchop to the noisecore fury of Lightning Bolt with exhilarating results. Latest single ‘Self Care Is Cancelled’, a pounding, demented face-melter, is a perfect illustration. Elsewhere ‘Prince On Crack’ has some Ministry/RevCo vibes in the beats and samples, while ‘People In Their Eiffel Towers’ finds them at their densest, a bleeping, grinding, video arcade apocalypse.  

The core of the Big Lad appeal is in these non-stop high-octane party bangers, but their urgent propulsion is maintained by smart use of dynamics and they have enough sense to mix things up a bit over a full-length. ‘Benny Was My Friend’ is slow and moody with a dash of the cinematic while the aptly titled ‘Bangerman’ builds steadily before letting Henri loose with the bang and clatter. Towards the close ‘Hot and Decaying’ revisits ‘Warm and Dead’ from last year’s ‘Hand Tools’ EP, stretching out under neon with some humid Blade Runner vibes.

They get back to basics on ‘Maaaate’, dropping daft samples from the ‘Aussiest Interview Ever’ over hectic drums and acid squiggles. Fractured and stupid, it’s not quite everybody’s idea of a party banger but it is magnificent. Big Lad carry the torch for essential first principles passed down since rock ‘n’ roll: music that is loud, dumb, fast, and fun. Music as delirious escape. Out on tour later in the year, their live show is a convulsive headlong rush and absolutely not to be missed.