Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
The relationships that come out of the Big Troubles album, "Romantic Comedy," are those that we place in our past. We not only think that they couldn't be anything like we'd get ourselves into right now, being of a certain age, as well as being of the elements that one thinks of as somewhat easy to discard away. They feel as if they're of a different personal era, one that we've completely forgotten about, or are willing to erase immediately. It's not to say that the endings of such things aren't still capable of bringing us aggravation and disappointment/sadness, but it gets applied to us in the tiniest, most fleeting doses. We can see these interactions playing out in a non-descript diner or restaurant in a nowheresville or everyplace town, with another whose face is universally thought of as fine, but not remarkable.
The relationship ends and she gets up and walks out, mildly hurt - but not for long - and we just pull the fries that she didn't eat over and squirt a little more ketchup onto the plate. We just make sure that none of that food's going to waste. Our mind is barely disturbed - only slightly. Others - perhaps even the members of this New Jersey band -- might simply ask for the check, whistle their way home, smoke some weed and watch a movie they've seen a hundred times before. They'd be a tad sullen and contemplative, but everything would clear out by morning and they'd realize that it had to happen, that it was going to be okay in the long run. There would be a rush of the newness that could be and that there would be a blank page to scribble on, to hatch new plans of love. It could be that there's an appreciation of the sometimes absurd ways that people treat one another - the petty jealousies and the weird possessive tendencies - that sink even the most hopeful of relationships.
Big Troubles co-lead singers Alex Craig and Ian Drennan dream up these very hazy songs about love that make it all seem like the best way to deal with any of it is to be the bystander you were born to be. Even when they sing the Go-Betweens cover of "Bachelor Kisses" here, it suggests that maybe a guy is not cut out to be anything more than a single man, grabbing kisses, sex and the occasional companionship when it flops down in front of him, when the moonlight is touching just right. It might just be safer and less heartache-y if that was the way they were able to take it. Craig and Drennan sing about those - we're assuming girls - with hooks for hands and that can get extraordinarily messy in a hurry. They warn, "You get hurt if you play with crooks," and isn't that all the more reason to try and see more of the comedic beats as they pertain to romance, than the sentimentality of it all? The "arcade lights are hanging down" and there are rarely winners, just ties, and you start to wonder if we're men or if we're marbles, just rolling to the next impediment, down the slopes, a race to the bottom of the pile.
Big Troubles Official Site