Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
When the full band enters a Big Light song, people are blinded a good 30 miles away if there is a flat road between the band and those unknowing people. It's a supernova of brightness that then gets contorted and worked into less authoritative gestures, ones that aren't going to need hours to wear off, to shake the throbbing white curtains from your eyeballs. The brightness of the flair is softened a bit and used conservatively and only in spots, where needed. "Monster," the first song that the San Francisco group taped for this particular session soars out of the gates and then quickly backs off to settle into a chugging and fuzzy verse as lead singer Fred Torphy sings like a Summer of Love version of Wilco's Jeff Tweedy or into a Minneapolis burn from the desk of Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner - but this is before the guitars get back to being their squirrely, ringing and attention-grabbing selves at the end of the song, as the psychedel-O moment takes place. These moments splatter onto your face like tossed eggs from a high school prankster's passing car in almost every song the band makes, using up its quota of quick-fingered tangents, but especially in the eight-plus-minute epic song, "Bonebreaker," which brings into the mixture lyrics about the impossibility of a nameless and faceless group of others ever "fucking you up…side down" and we learn of roots that are growing upwards instead of down. All of this is to signify that things are odd and out of form, but if there's one thing that can always be counted on - it's the guitars, our chauffeurs to bring us safely to our drop spot or to nudge us over the side of the cliff, playing us all the way down, matching the volume of the angry, whistling wind and pulse in our ears as we drop. The guitars that Big Light bring to the party are the kind that chatter and walk, they're talky and they lay you out, making your mouth turn acrobatics in appreciation just as all noodling seems to affect faces. It's the great face melt of the Bay.