Big Business - Battlefields Forever (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Big Business

Battlefields Forever (2013)

Gold Metal Records

With the original Melvins lineup reunited for new album Tres Cabrones, now seems like a good time for relatively newer Melvins members Jared Warren and Coady Willis to attend to their other band, Big Business. A lot has changed for the Biz since their last full-length, 2009's Mind the Drift. Longtime home Hydra Head Records is gone. Warren is starting a family. Yet the band's familiar sludgy stoner rock remains the same.

As fun as Big Business are live, the band have never been known for especially going out of their comfort zone. At best, it makes Battlefields Forever as good an entry point into the band's discography as any other. At worst, well, hey, it's still new Big Business. The tunes focus less on fun and more on bringing the heavy, especially compared to the super catchy Quadruple Single from 2011. Having returned to the full-length format, the Biz see fit to let the songs breathe more.

This is probably most apparent on the jammed out bridge to "Trees" or the bass solo that more or less constitutes "Aurum." Without distinct choruses, the songs sometimes blur together, but with nine songs totaling 37 minutes, it's not like Big Business are going all indecipherably prog here. Rather, Battlefields sees fit to focus on crushing skulls and melting faces.

The opening drum solo on track one, "Chump Chance," announces that while Big Business might have other responsibilities these days, the members can still bring the noise. They then proceed to rock the heck out from track to track. Battlefields takes the occasional detour for noodling, but it still maintains a general sludge vibe that should appeal to fans of the Melvins, Floor and Red Fang.