White-boy reggae group Big Wig Mechanic is a slave to tropical rhythm and big, fat, sloppy, upstrummed, reverb-laden guitars. Tropiko had me bobbing my head throughout. A constant, James Jamerson-ish walking bassline holds the song down until the chorus comes rolling in and receding out without screaming out “Hey! I’m the CHORUS! I’m CATCHY!” – it really sneaks up on you and leaves a lasting impression. It was nice to hear a little falsetto ringing out from lead singer Brian Lamarca, who peppered the tune with enough “yeah!’s” and “ugh’s” – that I can hear a little bit of the King of Falsetto (and awkward white-man dance), Chris Martin sneaking up in there. Fortunately for us, the music grooves much too hard to be a soft rocker.
At the beginning of “World in a Box” I was a put off a bit by the unbalanced bass riff, but quickly got into the groove as the song moved along. This sounds to me like a bit of a throwback to some “vintage” DMB, back in the real jam band days. For those in the area – it’s a dead ringer for sitting in the sticky August heat at Alpine Valley, hippies twirling all around, while the frat boys spy the girls up and down. Now I’m not sure if the heat is indicitive of the music or the other way around, but either way, this song fits the bill for sure. As for the recording, I could use a little less buzz from the guitars/bass, but a polished engineer could surely rid you of those bugs. The thing that stands out the most to me about this song is the dynamics. These guys know how to quiet down and let the music take care of itself. Its a testament to true musicianship, so great job fellas – and keep up the good work.
Although there are plenty of reggae bands out there and the lyrical content leaves something to be desired, overall these guys present quality music for half the price. Fans of OAR, Dispatch and DMB will be sure to enjoy their jam-band friendly sound.