The first track off of Big Light’s “Animals in Bloom” is “Good Time of the Year.” It’s the perfect opening salvo for this mostly feel-good, NoCal pop record. It’s a cheerful tune about moving on, breaking up, going from San Francisco to New York City because “it’s a good time of the year to move on.” It’s the kind of song that makes you want to hear more. And it jumps right into the “doo de doo doo” of “Monster,” another fantastic, catchy pop song. Can these folks do no wrong?
The band is from the town where I met and married my wife, San Francisco, and is well-led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Fred Torphy. This is the band’s first full-length, but they’ve already shared the stage with great bands like Spoon, Broken Social Scene, The Mother Hips, and Dead Confederate.
But back to Big Light‘s music: If the radio still mattered, I can assure you that there are at least five radio-ready singles on this record. And those that aren’t instant pop hits are interesting and catchy in their own way. On songs like “Caution” and “Heavy,” the band tries it’s hands at jammier, bluesier material, but even then they don’t spread too far from their pop/hook base. The way the album is structured, it descends from sunny pop, getting deeper and deeper, until it comes to the 7+ minute “Bonebreaker,” a masterpiece of accessible jamrock. The answer to my question, it seems, is “No.” This band cannot do any wrong.
Good Time of Year (dl)