AlbumsNovember 29, 20119,619 views

Big Business Mind the Drift


01. Found Art 02. Gold and Final 03. Cats, Mice. 04. I Got It Online 05. The Drift 06. Ayes Have It 07. Cold Lunch 08. Theme from Big Business II
2009 Hydra Head Records
Our score 5

by Nick
7/8/2009

What's not to like about Big Business Head for the Shallow and Here Come the Waterworks were two stellar albums, with the former establishing the (then) duo's knack for catchy heaviness and the latter showcasing some of the lengthy dirges that often anchor their live show. Fast forward to 2009 and the band has delivered Mind the Drift, the first proper recording with new permanent member Toshi Kasai handling the guitar and random noise duties. What's the verdict Does a 50% increase in members mean they're 50% more awesome Definitely not. And it bums me out to admit that this is hands down the weakest Big Business album to date. At its core, Mind the Drift still packs a lot of the same elements that made Head for the Shallow and Here Come the Waterworks so uniquely impressive -- the massive opening bass groove of "Gold and Final," the spastically relentless drumming of "Cold Lunch," and the insanely catchy vocal lines in the staccato rhythm-heavy track, "The Drift" -- but too many things go wrong along the way for this to reach its full potential. Take the guitar work. Most of it's just downright bad. Like a few Big Business tracks of yesteryear, there is the occasional moment in which a minimalist guitar touch is much appreciated, but covering nearly every song with incessant noodling is taking it a step too far. The excellent low end of "Gold and Final" and "Cats, Mice" can be difficult to enjoy when Kasai's meandering one string lines are placed prominently in the mix. Some of his additions on "Found Art" and a Cursive-like organ presence on "Ayes Have It" are definite high points, but the remainder are either outright bothersome or an unnecessary nuisance. Another major problem is the lack of beefy production. The raw crunch of Head for the Shallow is a distant memory in comparison to this album's generally weak bass and drums presence. To be fair, the scale is certainly relative, and a number of bands would benefit from having the bass punch of this record, but in the world of Big Business where thick grooves mean everything, this production is a miss. The stellar bass lines, catchy vocals, and inventive drumming are all still there. And a consistently creative songwriting mentality (heard best on "The Drift" and "Ayes Have It") still earns these guys their stripes. But with such a heavy dose of irritating guitar lines and the lack of the low end crunch that we've all come to expect give this album a proceed-with-caution rating. There are some hidden gems if you dig deep enough and focus on the right elements, but in the end, it's hard not to label this as Big Business' most unimpressive record. Bottom Line: If someone could break into the studio housing this album's raw tracks, give the bass and drums the balls they deserve and remove a large chunk of the guitar work on this album (or hell, just bury it deep in the mix), this would pass as a pretty solid Big Business record. I already bought this one, but if those results were guaranteed, I'd go ahead and invest in another copy.

18 comments

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fur_beach_ 7/8/2009 3:51:59 PM

first post. i agree album was kinda meh, but 5/10 is a bit harsh.


xfathersgunx_ 7/8/2009 4:44:16 PM

Definitely their weakest release to date, but it has a few tracks that are pretty damn good... I'd give it a fekin' 7.


dude_ 7/8/2009 6:30:01 PM

100% agreed. First two albums rule, this album's production blows. The vocals are WAY too high in the mix.


The Man_ 7/8/2009 7:10:12 PM

That Toshi Kasai guy is not good at guitar, or producing/mastering albums. made the new Melvins cd sound like garbage. And this album is a serious letdown.


anonymous 7/8/2009 10:43:00 PM

I'm pretty bummed. loved the last two albums. the vocals are a problem on this record also...


Godfather_ 7/9/2009 12:27:56 AM

Mediocre, lacklustre, turd, boring, insignificant, just a few words to describe this shit heap, good review, Who would have thought adding a third guitarist would make them lose balls.


Haterofmosh_ 7/9/2009 1:39:14 AM

This review is absolutely 100% perfect. I would have given it lower than a 5 but for the review itself you nailed it. This record is the biggest disappointment of the year so far for me.


thereapersson_ 7/9/2009 3:34:07 AM

Spot-on review. Half the songs just meandered on too long, were way too anti-climactic, and the album as a whole didn't really work with the new guitarist. I was expecting it to grab me sometime after the third listen, but nothing happened.


Rob_ 7/9/2009 9:25:56 AM

Nick's next review needs to be written in the mode of one Mr. Mike Strata. Nick, you know what to do. Get the Thrill, Rob


anonymous 7/9/2009 9:27:09 AM

Also, it's a shame what happened to this album. Really wanted to love this forever and ever and ever.


Omegaman_ 7/9/2009 10:06:59 AM

I get that this isn't as good as the others, but a 5??? I will at least listen to this, that alone makes it more than a 5.


ronnie d._ 7/9/2009 10:11:32 AM

it's true, the guitar on this album did it no favors. it's like he stopped writing guitar parts and just started improvising so-so riffs half the time. really wanted to like this as much as here come the waterworks. ah well.


Jamey Business_ 7/9/2009 10:14:44 AM

You f*cking shithead. You don't know the first thing about catchy heaviness; we put a lot of time and effort into this CD, and it's one of the catchiest, heaviest releases of the year. We better not catch you around at any shows, because if my crew sees you, you'll wish you never got out of bed that day. Oh, and to everyone who actually CARES about this record, listen up! Thanks to everybody who bought it already but for those who have not been able to find it, try TARGET, yes TARGET is stocking


murder_ 7/9/2009 11:49:48 AM

bull, nick! album rocks fully!


anonymous 7/10/2009 2:22:22 PM

By: Mr_Hands on 7/10/2009 1:38:59 PM By: areaman on 7/10/2009 1:21:54 PM By: hot_salvation on 10/14/2008 3:02:51 PM By: areaman on 10/14/2008 2:57:34 PM By: bastardmaker on 4/16/2008 4:44:17 PM By: areaman on 4/16/2008 4:41:37 PM By: xjaggedvisionsx on 3/30/2006 10:14:15 AM By: canwestartagain on 2/6/2006 10:19:14 AM By: scientist mcknowsitall on 11/3/2003 3:48:12 AM By: xSHAT CREWx on 11/3/2003 3:47:54 AM By: Sekio on 10/26/2003 6:53:50 PM By: suffer on 4/28/200


tiger_ 7/10/2009 3:47:38 PM

the guitar work definately gets irritating, but this is too good for a 5/10. i'd go 7.5/10


ANTHONY H deathmosh_ 7/13/2009 3:06:02 AM

f*ck you,lambgoat. Why don't you try and sell some records and then come on here and talk shit - but you f*cking won't because you can't. You're all f*cking idiots. My Uncle is a lawyer and he's going to sue the f*cking balls off of you jerks for giving them only a f*ckING 5 OUT OF 10. He says that it's slander and that he's going to get all of your information and sue your f*cking balls off. f*ck you,lambgoat. I know black people and they're PISSED.


Jeff_ 8/5/2009 4:51:16 PM

Know you roll nick. Know your roll