By Ryan Falla
Bigfoot is a hard rock band reigning from the cloudy lands of England, and they’ve just released their self-titled record Bigfoot. Right off the bat I can be thankful this hard rock band stems from outside of America because you immediately realize you won’t be suffocated by the clichés of American hard rock.
One big problem that plagues American hard rock is its obsession with radio clichés. Anything can get you on the radio or put you in the ilk of bands who do the same is a good thing in American musical culture, therefore there is a flood of disingenuous wannabe radio bands. By the virtue of hailing from a musical culture that isn’t as poisonous as the American rock scene, Bigfoot already sets themselves on a higher bar than most hard rock.
For one, instead of living and dying (mostly dying) on standard riffage simple enough for the braindead, underdeveloped grade-schooler (or most young American adults), Bigfoot utilizes a heavy sense of groove within their music. Right from the start, Bigfoot hits you with some good ol’ unadulterated metal riffage that shifts between a soft vocal presence and near Blaze Bayley sonic.
Another plus with Bigfoot is the fact that every song doesn’t try to sound the same. This is a problem with most hard rock, because with hard rock the ultimate goal is radio play. Of course many bands strive for this, but at the end of the day a lot of bands just want an audience while hard rock is always trying to manufacture a rock star image for itself. This leads to a painfully formulaic approach to their music, completely disingenuous to the actual art of music.
Now, I’m not throwing all hard rock bands under the bus, but chances are if you find offence to this sentiment you’re likely a radio drone or hard rock musician yourself. Hard rock is a pretty offensive genre within itself given its focus to breed rockstars and radio hits and not music with genuine feeling.
Groove is something that only comes from genuine musicianship, and guess what Bigfoot is full of? I won’t pretend that Bigfoot doesn’t fall into some of the typical hard rock tropes, fortunately they understand that you don’t need to anchor yourself with one or two clichés and echo that throughout the record. Bigfoot does have its moments of sing-songy versage that brings that “radio” appeal, yet it seems to me this isn’t out of desperation to hang on to tropes as a safety harness.
I don’t wanna be that guy who has to liken all hard rock to the glory days of Motley Crüe or Whitesnake, but the fact is Bigfoot is more in line with these bands than even the bands still alive from that era desperately trying to revive their slowly rotting corpses. The opening grooveage in ‘Eat Your Words’ feels more like a powerful Sunset Strip kicker than most else of what I’ve heard that tries to replicate.
What’s happening with Bigfoot is they aren’t trying to replicate anything, the music they write is complete, genuine and true to themselves. There’s no obvious “we want to be like X band or Y band!” and then an obsession to bring your music into the same ballpark.
Bigfoot doesn’t try to be anything other than Bigfoot, and that’s what makes this record very good. I’m not going to pretend that Bigfoot is a complete subversion of hard rock clichés because there are more than a few times this record falls into a cliché or two. Fortunately for Bigfoot, their natural musicianship and genuine songwriting approach in which they attempt to be one but themselves keeps these clichés from overwhelming the brain with cheese.
It’s not often you get to see a band rise above the station their peers have set for them. Often you become more entrenched in the scene you ascribe to than your peers or even seniors. For example in thrash metal, even if your scene is filled with greats such as Testament, Overkill or Exodus there are still bands that manage to break through the ceiling to create something new. It’s the same with Bigfoot, despite their peers filling the scene of hard rock like a garbage dump they manage to avoid the muck and rise above to create their own destiny.
Bigfoot doesn’t need to pander to the radio to be popular, they don’t need to carefully craft clichés in their music to be good or popular, they simply need to be Bigfoot.
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Record Label: Frontiers
Release Date: October 13th 2017
02.The Fear (4:55)
03.Tell Me A Lie (4:02)
04.Forever Alone (5:42)
05.Eat Your Words (3:12)
06.Prisoner Of War (5:41)
07.Freak Show (4:27)
08.I Dare You (5:04)
09.The Devil In Me (5:36)
Total Duration: 55:58