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Big Scenic Nowhere – The Waydown

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Big Scenic Nowhere – The Waydown

(c) Big Scenic Nowhere

Big Scenic Nowhere only needed two albums to establish themselves as a desert psych powerhouse – no wonder, since members of Fu Manchu, Yawning Man and Mos Generator are involved here. Instead of relying on run-of-the-mill jams, Bob Balch, Gary Arce, Tony Reed and Bill Stinson have an audible heart for classic rock sounds and prog touches that were already a hit on the first two albums. „The Waydown“ continues this path confidently.

The opening title track actually says it all. As “The Waydown” makes its way through more than seven and a half minutes of vibes and a search for meaning, it’s all for naught. Between a fairly succinct bass line, a sustained tempo and casual retro rock touches, a laid-back powerhouse develops that gradually goes through the roof even at reduced tempo. In the final act, the trio grows beyond themselves. Feverish drum volleys intensify, the lead guitar suggests wild solo excursions before an overdose of heaviness alienates and invites you to a neck-breaking jam.

The cover version “Sara Smile” is out of the ordinary with its soul and blues vibes and Eliot Lewis on the keyboard, who played with the original interpreters Hall & Oates for two decades. It is Tony Reed’s great appearance, who sings here with talent. Before that, another jam beauty lurks with “Bleed On”, closer than ever to the barren land of various other bands. Big Scenic Nowhere searches for and finds massive loops, adds a lot of distortion and gets lost in the huge, constantly escalating second half. Finally, “100”, the second giant of this album, finds the happy medium, playful and yet ponderous, closer to transistor chic than usual.

Familiar fare with a slightly different twist, that’s how Big Scenic Nowhere’s third hit can be summed up. Sure, the cover in between is out of the ordinary, but the prominent trio skillfully intensifies its efforts towards heaviness, feeling and thick, retro-leaning rock. “The Waydown” by no means stands still, but rather leaves the devil to rest in the details. Accordingly, the new album turns out to be a grower that you ultimately don’t want to let go of – once again a really well-rounded thing.

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Rating: 8/10

Available from: February 2nd, 2024
Available via: Heavy Psych Sounds Records (Cargo Records)

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bigscenicnowhere

Tags: big scenic nowhere, desert rock, psychedelic rock, review, stoner rock, the waydown

Category: Magazin, Reviews

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