Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nightwatcher's House Of Rock's Top 10 Albums Of 2008 : # 1 Bigelf - Cheat The Gallows

Bigelf - Cheat The Gallows - What would you get if you threw Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Queen, The Beatles. Pink Floyd and the quark strangeness and charm of Hawkwind in a blender? Well, other than a bloody mess, you might get something which sounds similar to L.A. retro doom -meisters Bigelf. No other album was as ambitious, overblown and pretentious yet still rocked with the passion and heaviness as this one this year.

This one took me a few listens to really get into compared to their earlier albums, but damn if it isn't good. Bombastic? Yes. Almost preposterous at times? Yes. Pretentious? Yes, most certainly. But honestly I can't remember the last time I've heard an album such as this. It's definitely an anomaly in today's music scene, and I don't know which audience is going to embrace it. It's way too progressive for the average metal fan, not to mention too light at times. It's too metal for the average prog listener, and too out there for the pop fan.

All of which being particularly audacious after being signed to Linda Perry's Custard label, home of James Blunt. The normal route for a first release in an attempt to crack the U.S. market (All previous albums were until recently only available via import) would be to make things more accessible. But this is a band which obviously plays by their own rules creatively speaking, a trait which hearkens back to when it was art, not commerce which directed an artist's muse. Which is why it's earned being bestowed Nightwatcher's House Of Rock's Album Of The Year 2008.

If you dig retro 70's sounding hard rock in the vein of early Sabbath, Purple, late 60's/early 70's Pretty Things, even vintage Alice Cooper Group, with a liberal dose of Hawkwind styled freakiness thrown in, this is certainly one you should give a chance to, as it ultimately rewards the listener who has the patience to take in what the band is trying to put forth.

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