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Big Collapse - Prototype
by Tim Byrnes
Big Collapse - Prototype
Label: The Militia Group
Love Empire
Deliver Me
Pull Out The Guts
Private War
Adds Up To You
We All End Up Dead
Phantom Power
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online


"Prototype", the debut CD from Big Collapse, a group of 3 transplanted New Yorkers with an honest-to-God native Los Angeleno on drums, packs pretty near the history of post Pistols rock onto one noisy, but tuneful package. Vocalist Josh Loucka is all exclamation points and breathless earnestness, while the guitars of Loucka and Matt Kane bash around the songs like kids on a sugar rush. The rhythm section of Gavin Van Vlack (bass) and Kyle Stevenson (drums) lays down a confident, meaty bottom that should keep the punters moving and the airwaves burning up.

The thing I like the most about this record is what it's not. It's not the latest cry me a river emo concoction, not the steely eyed defender of the faith ‘punk by the numbers', not a ‘heavier than thou' declaration of hatred for all the world, you know like 90% of most new releases. Big Collapse are interested in a synthesis of all of the above, plus more.  Like most people, the band realizes that we are not one thing, all the time. No one is always pissed off, and if they are, then how long do you really want to share their company?

The opening track Love Empire kicks off with a snappy drop beat, Tres punk, but suddenly a straight from the seventies, greasy ol' wah wah guitar riff comes snakin' in, making it a party. Vocals are very much of the Minneapolis ‘80's variety, high pitched and adamant, determined to be heard, but much more melodic than one would expect from a band with this much energy. The tune Pull Out Guts has an almost ‘60's pop feel, especially on the background vocals, which Big Collapse employ to great effect throughout the record.

Producer Ben Moore (Finch, Rocket From the Crypt) gives the record a tight, aggressive sheen while stopping just short of the kind of over-production that plagues most top of the chart records, a neat trick. If there's any justice in the woods, you'll be hearing this record on your radio and your music television of choice. No, Big Collapse is not the second coming of anything (well, maybe Cheap Trick) and they haven't re-invented the wheel here, but the fact that they take the chance to let a little pop sound into the punk rock stew without turning into Blink 183, or worse, bodes well for the band's future. I would recommend this CD to anyone looking for a little smart and tuneful with their young, loud and snotty.

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