Those big dudes form Northern California are back with a new album. It has been a few years since I heard new music from this talented band. II Big always aims to please and as they say on the CD sleeve- “We’re here for one reason alone, to share our love of music.” Well let me tell you, they do a fine job conveying those feelings on In A Mendocino Town.
They are not doing anything new here; it is the same formula-rock with a southern like flair (think Molly Hatchet) and a solid foundation of classic rock to keep their engines purring straight on through this platter. You know, even though they keep it consistent on every album and do not veer off course, their music still sounds crisp and fresh, just like that northern California morning air coming off the bay. Hey, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it. For a band that can keep pumping out the same music album after album, yet continue to satisfy their listeners, well, that is an accomplishment by any standard. I am continually looking for something new and original and this band defies that rule of thumb every time I hear them, even though I know what to expect before I pop the CD in my stereo. I cannot pay a band more respect or compliment them any more than that.
There is some real good old-fashioned kick ass rock on this CD, yes sir. “She’s No Stranger,” “Howlin at the Moon” and “Hammer Down” get some real down n’ dirty lead guitar licks courtesy of Aubrey Hansen and an entire cast of guest musicians. Old reliable Eddy Ottenstein showed up for the sessions again to add his truckload of experience. His six-string weeps with joy when he picks it up and starts playing.