Big Business 

Big Business
Here Come the Waterworks
Hydra Head Records

Those who caught the Melvins’ Missoula show late last year may recognize Big Business duo Coady Willis and Jarred Warren. Willis was one of two drummers on stage that night—the one who wasn’t Melvins’ stalwart Dale Crover—and Warren was on bass. The sound of Big Business will also be familiar to those in attendance—it’s a direct descendent complete with sludgy rock, grinding riffs and a thick purge of noise.

What separates this album from the duo’s impressive pedigree (prior to forming Big Business in 2004 and joining the Melvins last year, Warren played in Karp and Willis with Murder City Devils) is the addition of indie-rock producer Phil Ek. It’s a subtle difference, but under Ek, who’s best known for his work with The Shins, Big Business has a cleaner, crisper finish. It’s a bit like seeing your hardcore cousin shower and squeeze into a suit for the first time and finding that underneath his in-your-face façade is a handsome little devil. Case in point: the seven-minute instrumental “Another Beautiful Day in the Pacific Northwest” closes Here Come the Waterworks on an almost mellow note.

This album should still be played louder than all hell. But there’s a hint of maturity to Here Come the Waterworks that elevates it from mere addictive noise to one of the best albums of the year. (Skylar Browning)

Big Business plays the Badlander Saturday, June 9, at 9 PM. $7.
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