Music Review: Bigelf – Cheating the Gallows [Custard]

bigelf-groupA while back I reviewed the Bigelf show here in Columbus, and as you may recall I really got into these guys.  Well I have in my hot little hands their latest disc entitled ‘Cheating the Gallows’ & I really recommend it.

Bigelf is a difficult band to describe.  Their sound varies from song to song, consistently evoking images of classic 70’s era rock n’ roll like that of Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, The Beatles and many others.  In fact, the astute listener can easily discern borrowed expressions in almost every song, not as any act of unimaginative plagerism but instead as carefully crafted homages to the influencing work.  For example, there is a fairly recognizable  guitar riff from Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” in the song “Money, It’s Pure Evil”.  The subject matter alone is straightup Floyd, so the band knows you will see this for the tribute it is intended.  “Race With Time” likewise sounds like a lost track from ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, mini-opus ‘Counting Sheep’ could be a reincarnated Yes song.

Where Bigelf really excels is utilizing multiple influences in a single work, melding them together with their own brand of tube amp distortion and Damon Fox’s versatile vocal stylings.  Not content to merely tap into musical phrases from those who came before, Bigelf employs these vintage rhythms like a chromatic palette from which they brush stroke their own unique aural visions with a deftness & understanding that transcends the individual musicians’ ages and era.  It is as if Roger Waters, John Lennon and Tony Iommi collaborated on a project and then passed it on for a younger generation to interpret.  An uncanny extension of a movement they are clearly too young to have witnessed more than peripherally, Bigelf embodies ideals that might have been considered forgotten, progressing a form of music that has too long remained stagnant & resting on it’s own laurels.

Classic rock lives and breathes in Bigelf, in a careful orchestration of older style & atmosphere overlayed with modern perspective.  Can something new be instantly nostalgic as well?  You tell me.  But give this band a listen & see if you’re not amazed that time travelers have brought us fresh offerings from the Age of Aquarius, conjured through the sonic rites of Millennial wizards.

One thought on “Music Review: Bigelf – Cheating the Gallows [Custard]

Leave a Reply