Big French
Downtown Runnin [LP; Wharf Cat]

I have literally gone a lifetime looking for weird people to jam with. I’ve managed to find one, maybe two in 20 years. Zach Phillips of Blanche Blanche Blanche, on the other hand, finds zany punx to jam with every other day, and Big French is his latest fling. It’s a grand affair too, Downtown Runnin spitting in the frazzled face of those who would argue the long-playing album is dead. Throw your Bran Van 3000 records into the furnace, Earnest, because you’ll have enough spazz to last you a lifetime once you grip this wax-dip. Despite the somewhat complex full-band arrangements and Panoply Academy/Danielson homage, I still feel like we’re rubbing Ariel’s Pink pussy in the end. Also, Cerb faves Bird Names, and that band that sang, “All I wanna do is thank you / Even though I don’t know who you are / You’re the one that let me change lanes / While I was driving in my car” (for the record it’s Geggy Tah). In any event, be prepared to be offended, delightfully so, by the cartoonish antics on display. The vocals, delivered in a questionable falsetto at least half the time, nevertheless convey enough melodiousness and intrigue to carry what is a solid project from top-to-bottom on their own. I’d even venture to say the busy instrumentals get in the way every so often, overcrowding the mix. I don’t think Big French would even take that as an insult; you can’t offend a band such as this by claiming they’ve gone too far. Besides, in 10 years people will hear this and wonder why it’s so restrained. Make that 50 years. This record is a unicorn.

Links: Wharf Cat


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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