Big Boys - Where's My Towel / Industry Standard [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Big Boys

Where's My Towel / Industry Standard [reissue] (2013)

Light in the Attic Records

Many bands have paved a way for others to follow over the years, and in some cases, those that have done the following have enhanced what their predecessors did and taken a sound/genre to new places. There are a handful of bands, however, that for whatever reasons remain as the standard bearers of a sound, a genre, an identity or a combination of those elements. The Big Boys would be one of those bands.

I'm coming at this review with only owning the two compilation CDs released by Touch and Go Records in 1993 (The Fat Elvis and The Skinny Elvis) and having read numerous articles/interviews with the band from years ago. What was evident was that this was no conventional band, nor was it one that directly courted attention for being different, but it was impossible for it not to do so given the personalities within its ranks. If you want more info on the likes of Randy ‘Biscuit' Turner, Tim Kerr Chris Gates and a host of drummers then head off to other areas of the internet and you'll find a plethora of interesting information to digest to confirm that the band as a whole, as well as individually, were full of character(s)!

This LP is a reissue of the Big Boys' first album (first released on Wasted Talent Records in 1981) containing a dozen tracks that sound as fresh as a daisy even a few decades later. The thing with the Big Boys is that they created a sound that no one has managed to replicate, at least in a way that would necessitate not listening to the originators of the punk-funk-skate rock vibes that these guys from Austin, Texas let loose on the world. The one band on the same plane in terms of creating something unique and of its own would be The Minutemen, and there are certainly similarities in terms of the basic sound both bands employed, although Big Boys would eventually add horns etc. into their work.

The other massive plus was that the Big Boys could shift and change gear quite easily, either between or sometimes within songs. The songs on this album do a grand job of highlighting that the band was a long way from being a one trick pony. The record sounds as fresh as I imagine it would have 32 years ago and if anyone hasn't had the pleasure of hearing the band then if you can grab hold of one of these, I'd urge you to do so. Tracks such as "T.V.," "Identity Crisis," "Complete Control" and "Act/Reaction" stand out, but this is an album without filler and rightfully receives a reissue to hopefully a wider audience.