Album Review: Big Spin – “I Miss My Friends”

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Big Spin is what you get when punk rock from California makes its way down into Mexico. The quintet from south of the border recently came off of a semi-lengthy hiatus and have celebrated their return with the two song 7-inch single, I Miss My Friends. In addition to the title track, the single also features the b-side “They Take Away”. Whether you’re a longtime fan who has been patiently waiting for new material to surface, or if this single is your introduction to the band, I Miss My Friends is a fun, albeit short, listen.

As far as sound goes, Big Spin is heavily influenced by the 90’s SoCal sound. A quick listen to some of the band’s older material might conjure up images of The Vandals, but these new songs come off as richer and more fully realized, not unlike other SoCal bands such as Bad Religion and Pennywise- the very two bands that many press releases surrounded the release of this single were quick to make comparisons. “I Miss My Friends” starts off slowly, almost giving off the impression of a rock band with very little punk ties left, before rushing in with choppy guitars and the slightly nasal tinged vocals that just make you want to grab your board and skate (or at least pull out that dusty copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2). “They Take Away” is the heavier tune of the two, with politically charged lyrics and a driving beat to match that anger. It’s almost like the dream of the skate-punk 90’s is alive in Mexico.

The biggest complaint about this single is that having only two songs really isn’t enough to give it a whole lot of replay value. While neither song is particularly bad (both are pretty good, actually), there still isn’t enough material present to really justify listening to it on repeat in a single sitting unless you’re writing something regarding the music (let’s say, for argument’s sake, a review for a website). Obviously this is just a teaser for what is hopefully a second album by the band, but getting another single-exclusive b-side (assuming that “They Take Away” is exclusive to this release) wouldn’t have hurt.

I Miss My Friends is probably the best release within Big Spin’s relatively tiny discography. The songs show a maturation in the band’s sound without any aesthetic compromising- no slow tempo, piano driven ballads here, just a punk band playing punk music. Just the way it ought to be.

3.5 / 5 Stars

RIYL: Bad Religion, Pennywise, The Bouncing Souls (I know they’re not from SoCal, just go with it please), The Vandals

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