BIGBANG wants to break America. They’ve already got their native Norway sewn up and now they need somewhere a little bigger to gnaw on. So, they played a few well received gigs, impressed some of the locals (Rolling Stone, Flaunt), and attracted a smattering of comparisons with esteemed classic rock staples like Cream and early REM. Now, to consolidate this, they’re releasing a musical taster on February 8th, an EP called Wild Bird, hoping to suck you in before the forthcoming US release of a full length debut, Too Much Yang and a North American tour.
And does the taster make your salivary glands spit like a snake?
Well, I really do like the title track. “Wild Bird” is all about pretty melodies, close harmonies, and acoustic guitars plunking away. It gets wedged right under the skin where my closet folkie genes are hidden (shhh, don’t tell). After three plays in the car, I knew the tune well enough to dodeedo loudly — and that made me very happy indeed.
”Early December” is classic Tom Petty, right down to that weird way of singing he has; puts you in mind of a tortoise, an exercise in stretched neck and strangulation, reaching for a mike stand that’s just out of reach. The arrangement is jangly but sparse and it doesn’t leave any place for them to hide. Luckily they don’t need to.
The last track, “Hurricane Boy”, is pure Ocean Colour Scene — and I mean that as a compliment. It rattles along at a break neck speed, barely pausing for breath. It is underpinned with a weighty riff; and even a cursory examination of their music will show that killer riffage is something they do pretty damn well.
The only sour milk is the drab “Something Special” (which really isn’t). It is a bog-standard filler ballad; pleasant enough, but it doesn’t really go anywhere. Its inclusion makes you wonder whether, given that their intention was to put together a solid taster of their breadth and magnificence, it is really possible that they ran out of good stuff after only three songs.