Monday, February 16, 2009

Big D and the Kids Table - Strictly Rude (2007)

For a band that put out its first self-release, Shot by Lammi, in 1997, Big D and the Kids Table has managed to stay insanely active and independent over the years. Forgoing major labels and keeping an almost legendary DIY stance, the Boston natives managed to criss-cross the country for years touring with some of the biggest names in the game while cultivating a reputation for especially hectic and rowdy shows, even for punk-ska. The 2007 Strictly Rude understandably shocked die-hard fans with its mature, sophisticated and often "chill" approach to what had been before defined as raw, aggressive and energetic. But slower tempos be damned, Big D still brings their A-game in a huge way with Strictly Rude, easily one of the best alternative albums of the decade.

The most remarkable thing about this album is just how fun it is to listen to. The songs are well written, well performed, easy to listen to and very danceable. And it's amazing that a band that has been together for almost two decades can put out a record with at least four legit anthems like "Shining On" and "Try Out Your Voice". Frontman David McWane beautifully crafts authentic, meaningful and smart lyrics and puts them out there with passion, intensity and a healthy dose of melody. Songs move effortlessly from "Joe Sixpac" topics like drinking PBR with friends and getting kicked off the subway to heavyweight themes like political activism, preaching tolerance and substance abuse. And for as much press that Strictly Rude gets for being "chill" and "laid back", Big D proves that they can still turn up the distortion when they want to with "Souped-up Vinyl" and lead-off track "Steady Riot."

I'll have to admit that I personally like the older Big D catalogue a little bit better. Their frantic pace and high energy songs that I've grown to love are definitely missed on this record. But that doesn't mean that the more grown-up Strictly Rude is any less fun to listen to. Big D’s trademark DIY sound, smart and sarcastic lyrics, and authentic local vibe all blast out of every byte on the album. When all is said and done, Strictly Rude is a much more mature and accessible record that has some damn good music on it.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Big Fuckin D!