Led by two very gifted singer/song-writers in Alex Craig and Ian Drennan, Big Troubles are that rare beast: a band with two distinctive musical voices that smoothly mesh to create one integrated personality. As children of the 00’s they’re lucky enough to have a vast history of pop and indie rock to draw upon. Like the best of their peers they’re omnivorous musical consumers, as enamored of classic Brit Pop gems as they are of 90s slacker indie rock and 80s Paisley Underground pop. Early recordings by the pair were of the lo-fi home recorded variety, but over time they’ve grown (with the addition of drummer Sam Franklin and bassist Luka Usmiani) into a full four piece band to more fully realize their tunes.
Their first album Worry (2010) and its attendant singles were excellent fuzz pop records in their own right, but to make their new record the band took the step of bringing in help in the form of the legendary Mitch Easter, whose resume includes stone cold classics from the likes of REM, Pavement and his own Let’s Active. With Mr. Easter’s expert engineering help, Big Troubles’ fantastic new album Romantic Comedy is a masterpiece of modern pop; a perfect balance of grit and polish, gorgeous guitar sounds and angelic vocals, underpinned by a set of superb songs.
“She Smiles For Pictures” is the second single from “Romantic Comedy,” following the excellent “Sad Girls.” Featuring lead vocals from Ian, “She Smiles For Pictures” is a gorgeous piece of power-pop, fueled by ringing guitars, an earworm of a guitar lead and Luka & Sam’s propulsive rhythm section. Ian’s vocal melody is a total winner, the upbeat cadences belying the rather dark lyrics. 2:53 of pop perfection. “Polyommatus Blue” on the flip is another gem. A mid-tempo tune that recalls the lost mid-period Creation pop of groups like 18 Wheeler and pre-Screamadelica Primal Scream, it’s another fine slice of classic guitar jangle, and exclusive to this single.
Tracklist: She Smiles For Pictures / Polyommatus Blue
Slumberland Records SLR160