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Big D and the Kids Table - Stomp / Stroll (Cover Artwork)

Big D and the Kids Table

Big D and the Kids Table: Stomp / StrollStomp / Stroll (2013)
Strictly Rude Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: JeloneJelone
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Here's the line: If you think that the artistic growth Boston's act Big D and the Kids Table exhibited from Good Luck through Fluent in Stroll yielded some of the best ska records released in the new millennium, you will be wicked stoked on their new double album, split up Use Your Illusion-style as.


Here's the line: If you think that the artistic growth Boston's act Big D and the Kids Table exhibited from Good Luck through Fluent in Stroll yielded some of the best ska records released in the new millennium, you will be wicked stoked on their new double album, split up Use Your Illusion-style as Stomp and Stroll. If you disagree, well then why are you reading about a ska band in 2013?

Now that it's just us, let's get all kinds of specific. If I might be mesquite bold, I'd like to suggest that Big D's albums How It Goes, Strictly Rude and Fluent in Stroll form a kind of trilogy. How It Goes was the culmination of the band's ska-punk roots. Stuff like Good Luck and Gipsy Hill showed promise; How It Goes promises a show. Strictly Rude examined the genre's past; Fluent in Stroll examined its future. All three are ridiculously fun listens.

Which is why some folks were bummed out by 2009's For the Damned, the Dumb & the Delirious. It was a ska-punk throwback that emphasized the punk side, and it felt like a huge creative retread. How It Goes was perfect, but it also can't be repeated. Stomp and Stroll rehash Strictly Rude and Fluent in Stroll, but with generally better results.

Admittedly, frontman David McWane has talked in the past about doing a double album of crowd pleasures and stroll tunes (a genre the band invented that blends "double-dutch, ska, reggae and soul"). But given the albums' similarities to each other, it's hard not to see these new releases as another retread, albeit a more successful one.

Stomp is a really fun record. Tons of horns and melodies. Lyrics about drankin' and/or people who suck. But mostly, it's just fun, even when it comes too close to previous successes like "Checklist" or "Shining On." No matter how down McWane and his friends get, they always keep their energy up. "Stepping Out" burst with sunny ska pep, announcing a return to form. Also it's about fucking around at work, which is quintessentially D. "Shit Tattoos" is a hilarious yet rocking anti-tribute to a shitty tattoo parlor. Bonus points for naming the proprietor "Terry," in the grand ska tradition. "Social Muckary" is another skanker before "Pinball" cools things down, essentially serving the same purpose as "Shining On" did on Strictly Rude. That song is an anomaly overall, however.

The big difference between Stomp and Strictly Rude is in the jamming. Rude had a bit of it scattered around its second half; Stomp rarely strays from its horn-heavy bounce. At 38 minutes, the record is tight enough to make that work, which reveals the brilliance in splitting up this double album. Stomp gets to focus almost entirely on two-tone, occasionally broken up by something like the spitfire songs "Static" or "Pitch 'n' Sway." By itself, Stomp would have made 2013 a banner year for Big D. Stroll tarnishes that notion.

Stroll is essentially Fluent in Stroll Part 2: Back into Stroll. It's markedly different from Stomp and the general D sound. This record emphasizes a jammier atmosphere. The Doped Up Dollies, McWane's backup singers, return in a more prominent role, taking lead duties on songs like "Drink Me Down" and "What I Got." But the band's fusion ideas get a little too on the nose. I know they wanted to incorporate double-dutch into stroll, but the band didn't really need to straight up reference schoolyard chants.

Stroll isn't without its charms–the haunting "Moment of Weakness" is particularly affecting–but compared to Stomp, it just don't deliver. At 50 minutes, this second set feels a little flabbier, a little less focused. Granted, it was always going to be a cult record, as Fluent divided the band's fanbase at the time of its release as well. But the songs just don't sparkle the same.

The silver lining here is that fans can pick and choose which version of the D they want to hear at a better price. The difference between the two albums can be summed up thusly: Stomp could be played concurrently with Strictly Rude; Stroll sounds like Fluent outtakes.



 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
telegraphrocks (September 28, 2013)

"telegraphrocks, our taste in music is so darn similar, its terrifying-oldpunker-"

Yeah, when I see a comment you make on a story or review, I tend to agree with what you say a very large majority of the time.
Occasionally there's a difference of taste, but if you and I went on a road-trip together, I don't think there'd be a problem with the playlist.

fattony (September 27, 2013)

Strictly Rude is the only thing by these guys that I've loved, but I always respected them until they ran the Kickstarter for this album. They gouged their fans with how overpriced everything was. I'm amazed it hit its funding goal.

fattony (September 27, 2013)

Strictly Rude is the only thing by these guys that I've loved, but I always respected them until they ran the Kickstarter for this album. They gouged their fans with how overpriced everything was. I'm amazed it hit its funding goal.

paulrulzdood (September 27, 2013)

overall agree with the review. I found this generally to be a let-down. It felt like a re-tread to me, except Stomp isn't as good as Strictly Rude and even falls short of Damned, Dumb Delierious. And Stroll falls REALLY short of Fluent in Stroll.

Stomp is clearly the superior effort, and as the review said, probably could have just been released by itself without the Stroll counterpart which kind of weighs the whole project down. But it shows nothing new, and after the first few tracks, feels kind of redundant. Stroll just seems like a luke-warm re-tread of Fluent in Stroll, and I happen to be one of those fans that LOVES Fluent in Stroll, so for me to say Stroll is average...that means the non-Fluent in Stroll fans will find it downright shitty. I think the doped-up-dollies were given too prominent a role in it this time around, and much of it comes off annoying and repetitive. Only a few tracks "first day" and "tell me why" come off as fresh and pick up where Fluent left off. The rest feels like Fluent outtakes.

And like I said, Stomp is the better disc for sure, probably 8 out of 12 are real solid tracks, especially the first two and push n sway later on...but it's no better than "damned, Dumb, etc." and clearly not as good as Strictly Rude. I don't find anything on it as good as "walls" or "rotten" even. or "clothes off". like "shit tattoos" is funny and upbeat, but isn't as good as "clothes off". "stepping out" may be the best song from the entire project, but it falls short of "walls".

oh well. still Big D, still good enough. Between the two discs there's one good album here, but no great album, and most of that good album is found on Stomp. still love these guys though, Strictly Rude & Fluent in Stroll are both amazing IMO and i'm stoked to see them live again in December. There's enough decent tracks here to satisfy any fan, but the promise of 25 new Big D tracks and the anticipation of how dope that would be to have a double album covering both sides of their sound just falls flat when you dig in.

Paul

3pidemiC (September 27, 2013)

Ever since their guitarist left (after Fluent), the song quality took a total nose-dive.

oldpunkerforever (September 27, 2013)

telegraphrocks, our taste in music is so darn similar, its terrifying-oldpunker-

telegraphrocks (September 26, 2013)

Stroll is so fucking good. Stomp is good.
Initially, they didn't do much for me, but repeated listens changed my mind.

All in all, my two favorites from them are the 'Stroll' albums. I actually don't really care for much of "How It Goes" or "Good Luck", and nothing at all from the Shot By Lammi thing.

Stomp- 7.5/10
Stroll- 8.5/10

beaarthur (September 26, 2013)

Loved, loved, loved Strictly Rude. Couldn't get into anything after that release.

Drummer and guitarist left right around Stroll, I get the feeling that trying to make this direction work has become a vanity project for the singer.

scottiec (September 26, 2013)

I can't stand the back up singers. I don't know what it is. I honestly prefer good luck but understand that they cannot write another classic like that again. Live I'd figure these songs would be more fun, guess I'm just too "punk" or something stupid. I'll give it another try but I really grew up listening to fast punk ska-core shit.

stevejonestherealbones (September 26, 2013)

Stomp is good, stroll is fucking great.

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

- jones the bones

Nap (September 26, 2013)

I loved "Strictly Rude" and "Fluent in Stroll". "For the..." and this double album suck!!

Babrook (September 26, 2013)

"The Doped Up Dollies, McWane's backup singers, return in a more prominent role, taking lead duties on songs like "Drink Me Down" and "What I Got." "

Best news. Fluent and Stroll was the previous peak for this band and I've never had more fun (or, any fun, really) at a Ska show than when the Dollies were touring with Big D.

notfeelingcreative (September 26, 2013)

I love this band and actually donated to their kickstarter to help fund this project but the finished product is pretty weak.

Tudor (September 26, 2013)

Fucking terrible.

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