Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Big Wheel Stunt Show – Cheetah Milque

Ah, Big Wheel Stunt Show, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

Listening to your music makes me remember days as a wee lad, sitting with my dad and listening to music together, because we listened to stuff like Grand Funk, Rare Earth, Creedence, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and all of those mashed up together sound like a Big Wheel jam.  How many of you remember the days when the family had the big stereo system in the living room, and you had a turntable and new releases were on vinyl?  Yeah, those are the days you make me remember.

I love going to a BWSS show, because each one is unique.  Little disclaimer here, these guys are from my current home town of Tacoma, Washington, so I’ve seen them play like literally 40 times.  And yeah, I know them, and yeah they’re good guys, and god damn do they put on a show.  They could play the same setlist every night and it would be different.  Each show is treated as something special and unique, and a song is never played exactly the same way twice.  That’s what real musicians do, they make music.  Like BWSS.
And I love you because you release a gem like “Cheetah Milque”.  In this day of bloated releases that have so many songs on them you wanna turn the damn thing off before you get halfway through, you have the common sense to put out an album with 8 tracks.  Nice, concise, wham, bam, thank you ma’am. 

What a set of songs it is, too.  The title track opens things up with a nice, retro groove, gets your feet stomping and your hands clapping, and most importantly, your ass shaking.  Unless your ass looks like mine, no one really wants to see that in motion.  Then we get “Puget Blues”.  The first time I heard this I thought they were covering some long lost Hendrix classic, just a nice bluesy riff and a catchy vocal line that gets your head bobbing.

They follow these up with “The Web”, “Red List Blue List”, and my personal fave on the album, “Another Shove”.  Really dig this song, just an irresistible poppy number that should be playing on radio stations around the world and getting the due it deserves.

The album wraps up with three really incredible numbers, “Life Has Me”, “Fools Times Now”, and an ode to our volcanic neighbors all around us in the Northwest, “When The Mountain Blows”.   These 3 tracks stretch out a little bit and show the jammier side of the band, and if you really want to hear what these songs are all about you gotta see them live.  These recorded versions are amazing, but the things that happen when these songs get rolled out on stage will leave you standing there with your jaw on the floor.

I love this band a lot and I see that they are starting to get some recognition in the music press, which makes me very happy.  Do yourself a favor, if you ever see that these guys are coming to your town, and they tour a lot, make it a point to check ‘em out live.  And buy this damn CD already!!  Tell them Odin sent you.


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