Review of The Big Scary Four Seasons Album by Big Scary

Following a current trend of not releasing conventional albums (see the Ash A-Z Series, the early stages of The Smashing Pumpkins spectacularly backtracked Teargarden project, and to some extent, the latest release by Kaiser Chiefs), Throughout 2010, Big Scary took to releasing seasonally themed EPs. These EPs are collected here in the imaginatively titled Big Scary Four Seasons.

Big Scary The Big Scary Four Seasons Album

It is a good job this is not a conventional album and more of a compilation of EPs, because the 'Spring' songs which open up proceedings are not your usual teeth rattling openers. Instead, we get delicate and placid moments like the finger-picked Gem in the Granite, and the slightly more up tempo sound of Spring. Hamilton also has a quiet beauty during the verses, but some of its charm is lost in the wailing chorus. It is a subdued start, and unfortunately far too forgettable, although it has to be said that some of the tones and sounds do perfectly evoke the same feelings as the season, so in that sense it is a success.

Next up, predictably is Summer, which continues with a fairly mellow instrumental piece in a similar vein to the Spring songs. Next up are Tuesday is Rent Day and All That You've Got, both White Stripes/Black Keys style run-throughs, seemingly put in there just to wake you up after the collections lull of an opening. But before too long, the mellow, quiet moments return. Summer's Last Gasp is a great little tune but you get a feeling they could have done more with it.

Unfortunately, both Autumn and Winter EPs offer more of the same. There are unquestionably solid moments like Autumn's title track, but there just isn't enough to write home about. I have no doubt that somewhere within Big Scary is the potential to create a seminal and beautiful piece of work, but with Four Seasons, there are only embryonic glimpses of it.

Ben Walton

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