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July 22, 2024

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Big Five
In Yer Face (Triple X Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Based out of London, Big 5 plays two-tone ska in true 80's fashion: mixing in pop, rock, and even more 80's pop over a nice, danceable beat. Formed around the nucleus of Nick Welsh and Martin Stewart, both former Bad Manners and The Selecter members, they also added former Belle Stars vocalist Jennie Mathias to top them off. With the three of them at the helm, they invited some friends to come into the studio with them, and the outcome was IN YER FACE. The CD starts off with "Amphetamine Rush." It starts out with some cheesy (but very catchy) 80's pop-rock riffs, and then jumps into some beats that will get you up and dancing. The vocals are done in a total 80's fashion, and they tie in nice with the music. The chorus is catchy, letting you sing along with glee. "It Sucks!" is another 80's rush of a dance number that will get you bouncing, and jumping along with it. Nobody ever said Big 5 was good at lyrics, because their lyrics are quite amateurish and horribly written, but they do make up for it with their synth-pop/ska 80's feeling. The one thing that "sucks" about this song comes from the vocals occasional "oh" in a high a high pitched scream. Other than that, the song is a good number that will get you moving. "No No No" is another ska/80's pop number with ok vocals, and catchy melodies. The song will get you singing along with it, because it sounds much like the other tracks before it. These guys can write catchy numbers, they just can't write numbers that are different in taste, but the same in style. "Outrageous" actually brings us a different taste. The song is slower, and has more of a ska grasp to it. Still as catchy as the others, still as rough on the lyrics, but this time they actually do something different. It's a nice break from the other material. Sit and groove to it, or get up and dance with it. This song will move you like no other on the album. The guitar's upbeat is thick, while some harder guitar riffs are thrown into the mix as well. The organ adds a nice touch in the background, giving it a more smoother feeling. The drums make your feet tap, while they keep the beat nicely. The bass slides through the song as it pulls everything together. A nice song that shows a different side of this band. "Bad Karma" is another track that shows a more diverse side of this band. Very soulful, this song gives you time to relax and sit. Well composed, this song may be one of the best written songs on this album. Hard to describe, it must be heard to be understood. Ten regular tracks compose the album, while three bonus tracks have been thrown on to give more to the listener. "Universe," "Beautiful World" and "I Want U" are those bonus tracks, all of which are very disappointing.

Big 5 aren't the best song writers, but as much as I don't want to admit it, they do write some songs that will get you up and dancing, as well as singing along. Infectious at times, however, they do trap themselves by creating a lot of the same stuff over and over again, with minor changes. Not even really ska, they rely on their past name brand band recognition to help carry them. I'll give them a C+. The album had some high points, but the low points definitely out weighted any high moments.

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