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Bigwig | Invitation to Tragedy | review | punk | Lollipop
An Invitation to Tragedy (Fearless)
by Morgan Coe
The press sheet mentions Bigwig's "display of amazing punk talent," and I can't disagree: Guitar riffs fly everywhere, drums speed up and slow down, the whole band stops and starts on a dime, and they even find time to give the bassist some. This is the kind of punk that lists a "lead guitar" player in its liner notes. The bad news is that he's the lead guitar player for NOFX - I count two fairly obvious bites (the riff from "Moron Brothers" and the intro to "The Quass," if you're playing along at home), and then they lift the solo from "Perfect Government" so blatantly that I had to check the track listing.
The vocalist, on the other hand, has spent a lot of time at the feet of Avail and Gorilla Biscuits: He shouts, he sings, his voice quavers - just a little - to let you know he really means it, and when they slip in a slow one for the ladies (no, really!) he sounds uncomfortably like the idiots from Blink 182, only out of tune. The backup vocals drive it all home with predictable shout-alongs mixed with those detached harmonies that (and I repeat myself here) NOFX wrote the book on ten years ago.
What Bigwig lack in originality, they more than make up for in positivity, ending most of their songs with post-"Surrender" pabulum like "I won't waste away," "everything is all right," "don't think about it, let go," "I never wanted this plain old day to end," "live and let live," or "it's a beautiful day now go enjoy it while the time is right." A welcome escape from the world around us, or vapid pop-punk smirking? Schopenhauer once said: "The power of transport peculiar to tragedy may be seen to arise from our sudden recognition that life fails to provide any true satisfactions and hence does not deserve our loyalty. Tragedy guides us to the final goal, which is resignation." Ladies and gentlemen, you are invited.
(13772 Goldenwest St. #545 Westminster, CA 92683)