Bigwig - Reclamation (Cover Artwork)


Reclamation (2006)


What makes Reclamation initially so disappointing? Well, it's been 5 years since the fantastic An Invitation to Tragedy. FIVE YEARS. I mean, this could have been a Most Wanted beater and it STILL wouldn't have been sufficient compensation for the FIVE-YEAR WAIT. Did I mention that FIVE YEARS is a long time? Secondly, Bigwig haven't reproduced "Sink or Swim" on every single track as I politely requested; on first scan through the intros I had a really sick feeling in my stomach. I flicked through again. Nope. I was not running round the house with my air guitar and screaming "YOU MAKE THE CALL!!" I was pretty much doing everything else...

...Whether it's the sing-along chorus of "A War Inside," the super metallic riffing of "Follow the Leader," the bass chords from the title track or even the ska chords in "Last Song, Last Call," Reclamation is packed with so much more than anything the band have put out before. This is certainly no verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo skatepunk album. Indeed, the instant appeal of previous efforts gets sacrificed with this new, smarter approach, however this only serves to leave the listener with a much more rewarding experience. Reclamation doesn't let up for a single second. It's easily their most aggressive (both musically and lyrically) effort yet; whereas previous albums contained cheesy pop numbers like "Friends" or "Moosh," there's no sign of lightening the mood here. Even the two mid-tempo tracks, namely "The Rat Race" and "Timebomb," seek to instill a degree of rage at the world with lines like "it seems like freedom's not so free" and "all this greed and competition / what the hell are we trying to win?" and actual, genuine, authentic punk rock riffs. Winner.

Everything that Reclamation sets out to do it achieves. It's catchy yet aggressive, technical and oh so memorable. The sound has been fine-tuned to lean more towards both Pennywise and Slayer, which can only be a good thing. Not only do we get sick, hard riffs ("Owned and Operated"), but we are also graced with the powerful, energetic chord progressions ("Cross and Burn," which is probably my favourite) that us kids these days crave -- and with a healthy portion of whoas ("Outer Rings"); it's good for us too! What makes Bigwig so damn great in 2006? The fact that, once again, they have taken a tried and tested formula and carved out their own distinctive sound. And boy, do they carve. Easily their best effort yet. So there.