I have a bad habit of waiting for a long time to get the new albums of bands I like, so often by the time I end up getting them the next album has come out and I’ve fallen behind. Big D and the Kids Table were no exception, and last year when I was in Montreal for Osheaga I picked up 2009’s Fluent in Stroll. Simply put, I was blown away. Gone were the raucous, vulgar punk stylings of previous albums and I was instead very pleased to hear a much more mature and changed Big D. Surf, dub, reggae, rock and roll and the Doped Up Dollies came together to create, in my opinion, one of the most unique sounds in a long while.
AND NOW WE SHALL BEGIN PART 2
Having been a fan of Fluent in Stroll, I had a pretty good idea of what I could expect from Stroll. However, I was still taken by surprise by many of the tracks. I found Stroll to be heavier than its predecessor, particularly in the second track, “Young Suckers.” But I’m getting ahead of myself, because one of the immediate standouts was the opener, “Knife.” This epic track, with its busy bongos, shifting moods and reverb-drenched guitars a la Ennio Morricone, shines with a Tarantino-esque throwback to classic westerns, surfing and low-budget, poorly dubbed martial arts films of the 1970’s. Another favourite of mine, “Lynn Lynn City of Sin” has it all: Huge horn lines, scrumptious tenor sax solos (especially those), a fun, loud chorus, and an infectiously catchy verse. I don’t know if this really is all of “it,” but it’s a great song nonetheless.
Peppered throughout the rest of the album are breezy reggae tunes, schoolyard silliness, darker flairs of dub, and sweetly sincere call-and-response between the Dollies and David McWane. One such track would be another stand-out to me, “Drink Me Down.” I would really like to be able to dissect the album track-by-track, but I feel like that would spoil the album and make for a post of Biblical proportions. So just do yourself a favour and give the whole thing a good listen. And while you’re at it, go and give Stomp another listen, and then this one again. The two albums compliment each other nicely and make one sprawling and fantastic piece of work.
To wrap it all up, Stomp and Stroll are two great albums, combining a massive palette of genres and influences. Clocking in at a grand total of just over 90 minutes, the crowdfunded albums indicate a step in a new and oh-so right direction for music, powerfully strengthening the connection between the fans and the artist.