(Dirt Cult Records)
I’m a sucker for Canadian music, in part because I’m half Canadian (yes that’s a thing), but also because Canada has a legitimately awesome punk and indie scene. Ottawa’s own Big Dick (based on a NoMeansNo track, seriously) combines both the punk and indie scenes to great affect on its recent sophomore release. Disappointment sees Big Dick embracing a greater sense of identity in its throwback post-punk sound. There are elements of power pop and post-hardcore present here, but ultimately, Big Dick specializes in two things: catchy tunes and abrasive music. Oh, and did I mention that all this wonderful noise is produced from only two members?
Big Dick is Johnny O on bass and Dave Secretary on drums, with both members doing vocals. The fact that they utilize both members for vocals (most for harmonies, which are outstanding) is a big highlight, as each of these 15 short and succinct tracks is grounded by these power pop-inspired vocal melodies/harmonies. It’s a big part of what separates most of these tracks from one another and what helps keep Disappointment from being a long stream of bass riffs. Not that such a thing is inherently a problem, but there is definitely a similarity among the tracks on here. The best way to describe Disappointment is monochromatic, in that all of these tracks would be the same color for anyone who experiences synesthesia. Even at their most quiet and chill, Big Dick’s standard template is loud and proud, making most of these songs sound rather samey. Fortunately for the band, the tracks still retain a certain amount of likeability, so this similarity isn’t damning; it’s merely unfortunate.
That said, there’s really not much else to complain about with Big Dick’s sophomore record. A disappointment this is not; Disappointment is brimming with personality, charm, and catchy hooks, and these songs beg to be heard live. (Nicholas Senior)