By Rebecca Karlovic
Big Troubles90s’ shoegaze, 80s’ synth pop as well as indie rock and pop. Never before has such a breathless list of genres been used to define the sound of a single band as in the case of Big Troubles. Singer/songwriter duo, Alex Craig and Ian Drennan’s, debut album Worry, incorporated these very categories and drew in a unique fan base last year. These very fans will be happy to hear that their new 2011 album, Romantic Comedy, stays true to Big Troubles’ style. Although their style remains untouched, these boys from New Jersey have successfully managed to create an altered follow-up album that reflects the maturity they have gained in the last year. This is largely owing to their touring alongside bands including The Pains of Being and Real Estate and using their experiences as a learning process. What is seen throughout Romantic Comedy is a dominance and confidence in the sound that was lacking in their previous album. The track Never Mine is perhaps the most prominent example of their growth. The album conveys, for the majority, a melodic and down-played vibe. This is then polished by the use of strong instrumentals including powerful percussion and electrifying guitar- a typical characteristic of both shoegazing and synth pop. You”ll Be Laughing and Engine are two tracks that will inevitably send their loyal fans chills as a result of the honesty that explodes from every beat. Despite this, however, listening to the album minus intervals may lead to the inner-musician in you to pick out similarities between every song. The consequence is that each track tends to lose its originality and you could quite easily be bored. An unfortunate critique but one that does hold truth. What is important to note is that scattered amongst the inhibited sounds, lie a few daring and new Big Troubles introductions. These include tracks 4 and 8, Sad Girls and Time Bomb respectively, that retain the style of the band but show the more upbeat and lyrical side of the duo. This comes as a breath of fresh air when analysing the album as a whole and immediately gives the band points for being innovative. The music video for Sad Girls was also premiered this year and reflects both the ”Romantic” and ”Comedy” aspects of the album.
Courtesy of SlumberLand Records Big Troubles cannot be defined by a single genre or word but they are certainly different and worth a listen.