Short of the glory of Rock Sugar, it feels as though hard rock as of late has lost sight of being a medium of meaningful punctuation and, instead, gravitated toward the gravelly shrieking and power chords that attempt nothing more than to craft a pulsating anger within the listener.
If that’s your cup of tea, by all means, enjoy; you probably don’t drink much tea anyway.
I hardly consider myself a connoisseur of all things angry rock but you don’t have to be a sommelier to know that Barcelona’s Big Bang has once again struck independent a power chord of rock success.
The aptly titled ten-track 2016 release, from the Spanish rockers who are most certainly making a name for themselves, creates a vacuum of rock that will suck you in (sorry, I had to).
The semblance of steely melody of Frederic Emeterio and Francisco Rubailes pairs on Vacio with Manuel Rubiales’ dynamic vocals and Sisco Carrasco’s heavy, emanating beats in a way that is one part hard rock, one part captivating artistry. In short, Big Bang’s latest is audacious and dominating.
Each track feels purposefully orchestrated to draw you into the world of these Spaniards before sending you into an unforeseen offshoot. Mind you, these are not short, assaulting tracks. No, almost every track is at, or above, the four minute mark. Mixing the occasional bluesy undertone with grinding chaos, with unpredictability and an overall wall of sound, this foursome’s style is a concussive melodious temptation to all things rock. Yet, just when you think you have Vacio pinned down they go and twist it on you. For example, don’t miss here is clearly the ominous subtle nod at the conclusion of “Cerrar un ciclo”. I’ll refrain from spoiling it, but know it will demand the double take.
Vacio is not the result of some garage band kicking out a mixtape. Big Bang is back in full force with their latest and, aside from the revitalization of my belief in hard rock from outside the US, it is an invigorating blend of passionate rock, the right amount of edge, and a drawing composition.
Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor of Nanobot Rock.