Big'n, Bear Claw, Pinebender | Burlington | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Big'n, Bear Claw, Pinebender Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Fri., Aug. 23, 8:30 p.m. 2013

Prior to 2011, when French indie label Africantape dropped a retrospective collection of singles and unreleased tracks called Dying Breed and the new EP Spare the Horses, Big’n had been dormant (at least discographically) for more than ten years. The Chicago band’s fortunes seemed tied to those of the 90s midwestern noise-rock scene that birthed them—for years it seemed like their final release would be a 2000 split with the underappreciated Oxes. This reboot of Big'n isn’t a reinvention, really, because they’ve never been anything but fine being associated with the likes of Shellac and Unsane (and labels such as Amphetamine Reptile and Touch and Go). Front man William Akins is a little less deranged on the new EP, though that's a bit like saying that a slice of pizza tastes less like a slice of pizza after sitting out for a few days. It's still pizza, and Akins still sounds like a madman writhing on the floor, mike cord wrapped tight around jugular—he's just got a few more miles on him. Predictably, the band worked with Greg Norman to record Spare the Horses at Electrical Audio, the preeminent incubator and stomping ground for the big-drums-and-bass 90s noise-rock bands. Big'n aren’t making any revolutionary gestures here, but they are and always will be loud as hell. —Kevin Warwick

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