Album Review: Big Awesome – “Better Than Numbers”

Hailing from the coast of South Carolina (and, somehow, suburban Scranton PA), Big Awesome are a newly-formed (allegedly late 2010) four-piece outfit who are reported to have recorded their debut EP, “Better Than Numbers” in five days. You might expect them to sound a little sloppy or unfocused, but you’d be tragically wrong.

“Better Than Numbers” is three songs of highly polished, well-crafted songwriting that is very melody driven a la Jackson/Jackson United.  Genre-wise, they toe the line between progressive shoe-gaze indie rock and post-hardcore, much in the way that Cave In’s “Antenna” did. I know “Antenna” garnered Cave In a lot of flack for the stylistic change, but it was a well-written, big sounding album that probably fits in to the scene better now than when it was first released.

But I digress. Big Awesome features a razor-sharp rhythm section (Jamie McLain on bass and Marek Belka – no, not THAT Marek Belka – on drums) that holds the low-end down tight, allowing guitar/vocalists Colin Czerwinski and John Blanken to trade off soaring, swirling guitar riffs and dueling vocals that project a much larger sound than the four-piece that they are.

“Pay Attention” is a little more mid-tempo than the EP’s other two tracks, and features a harmonic-driven guitar melody and three-part harmonized vocals. “Chariots,” I think, best epitomizes the collective elements of their sound. Lyrically, it hints that they are aware of their bright future, but are able to downplay that matter-of-factly as though they are “just a couple of guys who heard what you have heard.”

“Better Than Numbers” is probably the brightest, catchiest song on the album, and has an interesting change in tempo and melody about 2/3rds of the way into the song that encourages the listener to “hold on to all your memories, because they’re all we have.”

Again, don’t be fooled by the fact that Big Awesome have been a band for, like, twelve minutes; these boys sound tight, focused and driven. Do yourself a favor and jump on the bandwagon now.

**The Album Reviews published on Dying Scene are written and submitted by fans of punk music, just like you. If you disagree with an album’s rating, feel free to voice your opinion and give it your own rating in the comments. If you’d like to submit your own review do it here.

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