After a low-key
debut (Worry, released in 2010) this
New Jersey quartet decided to go big time. Well, bigger time, anyway. They
enlisted the help of Mitch Easter (REM, Pavement and, of course, his own Let’s
Active) to co-produce (along with the band) and where the debut was fuzzier and not completely cohesive, Romantic Comedy ties all of the loose
ends together for a swingin’ pop record with a fresh sound and sturdy
songwriting. Songwriters Ian Drennan and Alex Craig seem to have upped their
confidence and with a more-than-able
rhythm section in Sam Franklin and Luka
Usmiani ,the band seems to be firing on all cylinders.
“She Smiles for
Pictures” starts thing off quite smashingly with some classic ringing guitar
and sweet vocals while “Misery”, seemingly taking inspiration from ‘90s studs
like Pavement and the Boo Radleys. “Make It Worse’ could be a single with more
of that classic jangle pop but they decided on the next song, “Sad Girls” to
make the first single with its cascading guitar n’ breathy vocals. “Minor Keys”
kicks it up a notch and sounds like early Primal Scream (think Sonic Flower Groove) while “Softer Than
Science” is nearly as speedy, a bit dreamier and just as delectable. While
obviously studying their heroes with a fine tooth comb, Big Troubles has done a
perfect job of combining past and present guitar pop into one 30 minute stew.
It’s nearly impossible not to like.
DOWNLOAD: “She Smiles For Pictures”, “Misery”,
“Sad Girls”, “Minor Keys”, “Softer Than Science” TIM HINELY