Big John - Easy Tiger
Bill Cummings 21/11/2005
“Grrr! Easy Tiger! Here's Big John your radio!” Well yeah erm that's how imagine Alan Partridge would introduce this demo on one of his fictional BBC Radio Norwich shows. Big John are a Newport three piece (their drummer recently left) that aim for a melodic 60's influenced, folky rock pop hybrid, here they present a demo EP called “Easy Tiger.”
Opener “Feeling Human” is a strummed, big-hearted pop song, with hints at joyous melodies of the early Beatles. It bobs along with a understated lo-fi charm and a nifty guitar lick, imagine if you will Teenage Fanclub stripped of their studio sheen and told to go produce something on a second-hand four track in one afternoon, then Big John's “Feeling Human” is probably how they would sound.
Next up is “Deep Down”, which has shades of the Who's “Pinball Wizard” about its early bars, but reveals a more jangly nature in its strutting verses. There are problems with this track though: it's a bit musically lightweight, maybe due to the tinny production? Plus the melody here doesn't really excite, it doesn't really move this demo on from the nice opening effort.
Lastly is a rather odd cover of Depeche Mode's “I Just Can't Get Enough”. Instead of synths are old skool pianos, there are strummed acoustic guitars and a chorus of vocals. It's nice enough but is it really anything you couldn't head down most local pubs of a Friday evening and find? I always think covers should offer something different to the original but this doesn't really add much, it just sounds like a decent pub rock retread of the 80's classic.
Welsh three piece Big John have a way with a well worn melody or two, I can imagine them taking their battered old guitars around the country, “Feeling Human” could provide the live soundtrack to a few good nights out. But they clearly need to raise the bar musically, and in terms of production if they are to make it in the big time, because we've heard this kind of sound in the past, and of a superior standard.