REVIEW: Big Black Cloud’s “Black Friday”

 photo BigBlackCloud_cover_zps6a36e300.jpg Black Friday (Eolian Empire) is an album that represents a nice chunk of what the Portland music scene is doing today, or at least representing the diversity of the scene that continues to grow, filtered through a trio named Big Black Cloud. What this two-man, one-woman band do is just churn up the power and go full on with how they play and sing to create something that feels suffocating, yet done with clear distinction. “Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness” is an awesome instrumental where you’re able to hear what they’re about with relying on the possible meaning of the song, while a track like “Bomb My Brain” could lead some to immediately making a list of comparisons. Part of it sounds like angst-y, itchy ass rock, playing off-key on purpose but taking on the Sun Ra philosophy that there are no wrong keys, they keep that fierce energy going and work it through. Speaking of jazz, when a trumpet opens “Barbaric, Mystical, Bored”, it may sound like something is out of place, but it fits in, as if it’s a call to arms. It may be a distant relative of Portland’s rich-but-sometimes-forgotten jazz music scene, or it’s there merely to be an addition to the heaviness of what Big Black Cloud creates, but everything has its place, and there’s a place for everything. Big Black Cloud are now looking for places to fill those voids. A song like the title track could bring up a number of comparisons: the minimalism of Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive”, the raunch of Alice Donut, the force of the punch of this band and that band but after all of the easy comparisons one could make, the force of the punch here comes from Big Black Cloud.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3064749890/size=medium/bgcol=333333/linkcol=F2DEC5/transparent=true/

SOME STUFFS: Portland’s Big Black Cloud would like their brains to be bombed

Big man with a big beard: check.
Bridge behind the band as scenery: check.
A bassist named Soo.

What is a noise rock band from Portland, Oregon namd Big Black Cloud, Alex?

 photo BigBlackCloud_old_zps8cc61a77.jpg
Representing the Rose City is the group who originally started out as a 4-piece named Here Comes A Big Black Cloud, which makes sense since Portland has its share of rainy days. Fine-tuning things down to a trio and eliminating half of their name, Big Black Cloud have just released a new addition to their musicography, the Eolian Empire album Black Friday. This is the same label, formerly known simply as Eolian Records, who first shared with the world another great Portland band, á´šABBITS (my review of their Lower Forms album on Eolian can be read by clicking here.) By embracing Big Black Cloud, one can be sure for great things to come from them, but if you don’t believe me, have a look at their video for the song “Bomb My Brain”.

While “noise rock” can be a blanket statement, it definitely fits a band who aren’t just that, as they show a good level amount of diversity in what they do. The video shows them in a basement setting, possibly dank, potentially rank, but definitely raunchy in a musical sense, and their fans are loving every minute of it. Check out their new album when you can, but if you’d like to stream and listen to their previous LP Dark Ages, stream the Bandcamp player below.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1985381561/size=medium/bgcol=333333/linkcol=e32c14/transparent=true/
http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3064749890/size=medium/bgcol=333333/linkcol=F2DEC5/transparent=true/