Big Something – The Otherside
by Randy Harris
For almost a decade, Big Something has been blessing our ears with songs of wonder; of love and truth, UFOs and volcanoes. The six-piece band has toured all over the United States, spanning the country multiple times. It is now 2018, and we are excited for the release of the band’s fifth studio album, The Otherside.
Kicking off the album, “Sundown Nomad” rocks out a hypnotic, heavy-hitting beat. Lead singer Nick MacDaniels raps the verse vocals and wails the chorus. Lead guitarist Jesse Hensley screams out a deceptively erratic guitar solo, and sax player Casey Cranford goes deep into the groove over the final chorus. “Wildfire” takes on a much calmer, head-in-the-clouds type of timbre. The lyrical content, however, could be taken in two very different contexts, leaving a bit of interpretation up to the listener. After a ride off into the ether and through an extended jam, we land back on Earth and into “The Cave”… or so we think. “The Cave” starts off slow but throws us right back into the depths. The title track takes hold to finish off the first half of the record in the form of an instrumental interlude.
Dreamy keys launch the intro for “Smoke Signal,” cemented by some sexy sax. Soft vocals creep in and take hold. Crafty dual guitar work permeates the tune, followed by a raging solo from Hensley. “Cosmic Dust” stays purely true to its name, sending listeners down the rabbit hole and into a psychedelic vortex. The journey ramps up to its peak and then gently eases us back to real life. “Plug” is a true rocker, digging into some bluesy roots but keeping their distinct Big Something sound at the forefront. Finally, “Hole” concludes the album, starting with a funky groove, driven by drummer Ben Vinograd, and then taking off into a heavy-hitting whirlwind of rock & roll.
From a purely listening standpoint, The Otherside is quite a wild ride! We see the return of some common Big Something themes, such as space travel (whether within the lyrics or the music), while still keeping the tunes fresh and new. As always, Big Something keeps true to themselves and presents a sound that cannot be described as anything but themselves. They are unique in so many ways, but they manage to find a way to make listeners feel at home. The Otherside is no different. Their futuristic sound continues to bend reality and warp minds as they help us forget our troubles and lead us on journeys into sound.