Whataya say we head out to the garage and bust out dad’s old guitar and drums? I mean, it’s raining outside – we can’t do anything else. Plus, it’s heated out there. Yeah, you want to? So cool! Hey grab that big carpet from the living room and let’s take it out there too. It’ll be better to stand on that and play than on the cold concrete!
Ah, yes, this is perfect. I love it out here. I wonder if…
Hey, look at this! A piano!
Hailing from Melbourne (Australia, not Florida), Big Scary are not, in fact, brother and sister. They simply act like it. Nor were they once married or anything like that. The White Stripes, this isn’t.
Here is what they are: A duo that plays light indie rock in a garage. They invite their friends over, their parents over – whoever. They sit in lawn chairs while Tom and Joanna perform their own versions of indie piano pop, with some fuzzy guitars thrown in for good measure. They share vocal duties, probably glancing over at each other with smiles on their faces as they play.
The more you listen, the more you realize that the piano is everywhere. From the poppy bang-outs of the keys on Falling Away to the best ballad on the record of Child In A Tree, it’s clearly their weapon of choice. However, there’s certainly a dose of some filler tracks here, and cutting a 6 song EP would have probably served them better. Tracks like Bad Friends, Of Desire, and Got It Lost It trudge along at an almost alarmingly slow speed, and sound like nothing more than some piano keys with some vocals layered over top. Simplicity can be key, but it has to be inspired with something else – and here is where we find the true issue with Big Scary – the lack of cohesive inspiration. Final track Rolling By is a joke.
The sad part is that Big Scary actually do have some good songs; they simply just don’t outweigh the boring parts. Gladiator, Leaving Home, and the awesomely expressive Purple are fun jams, and sound like the band is actually enjoying what they do. It’s too bad that the rest of the album just sounds like filler ballads that have a moment of cool instrumental expression, only to fall back into a lackluster routine.
Even the upbeat sure-fire indie popper single of Mix Tape just sounds bland. The piano keys pop, the hand claps come in, the guitars shimmer speedily through the chorus, but it’s just the same-old-song that we’ve heard a million times before in an iPod commercial. “But I, I ain’t even here / I’m just bored, I don’t know what to do with my love / Oh but I, I ain’t even calling / I’m just bored, I don’t know what to do with my time.” It’s clearly evident that he doesn’t.
If you had to listen to two tracks: Purple / Leaving Home