The Big Disappointments – s/t

Listening to The Big Disappointments’ recent, self-titled release takes you back to the Los Angeles scene of the early 80s, where Green on Red and Dream Syndicate mixed blues, punk, and garage into a cocktail of angst and deliverance. This Boston 4-piece churns out its music with a little more emphasis on punk and less on psychedelia, but it doesn’t take any measures to hide its lineage.

Boston and the Atlantic states have had their own share of bands working this territory – the Lyres being perhaps the most entrenched – and the labels Taang and even Metal Blade put out some solid examples. Then there’s also the band Come, who brought a little bit of experimentation with the sound. It’s fitting in fact that Come’s Thalia Zedek helped produce The Big Disappointments.

Sometimes veering into psychobilly and swamp rock (“So Unlike You” and “Crop Dusted Everglade,” for crying out loud), sometimes doing punk rave-ups (“Like To Know,” “Money Makers”), but for the most part staying close to blues and garage, this album comes off as something of a retread. “Like To Know” sounds like The Last with a hangover. “Too Much Intake” would fit well with anything by Jon Spencer.

Loud guitars, blues scales, basic drumming, workmanlike bass playing: its all fairly ordinary and familiar. The consistent echo on the vocals borrows from early garage bands from the 60s and The Cramps. But perhaps the band’s sound can best be summarized as a cross between The Wipers and TSOL. You’ve heard this before, yes, but if you liked it then you might be excited to add another update to your library with this one. If you’re looking to expand your horizons, though, you’ll need to look elsewhere.