5 Songs I Love w/ Big Slice
Updated: Oct 3
Following the release of their nostalgic new track 'Could Be Wrong', we caught up with Big Slice's drummer Guillaume Boisselet to find out more about the songs that inspire the band's unique sound. If you're a fan of the tracks below, be sure to check out and save 'Could Be Wrong' (included below)
Swell – “At Long Last” (1992)
This is the sound of the dark side of American rock. Slow, moody, stoned and threatening. This is the world of small independent San Francisco-based rockers Swell. The first LP is to be ignored but this opening track from their 2nd LP, released on their own label in the US (Psycho) then Def American and finally Rough Trade for the UK (first pressing was on gold splattered vinyl - nice) is a different proposition. This is what US alternative Rock should have sounded if fronted by the Zodiac killer. Heavy, slow repetitive 12 string guitar strumming from singer Dave Freel brutally punched by the live sound of Sean Kirkpatrick’s drums (think Bonham on “When The Levee Breaks” but in a bigger room and with a second-hand kit borrowed from your weird uncle). With a simple chord of distortion from passing guitar player whilst the bass is borrowed from next door Jamaican sound system, this is not happy music. This is the good stuff. Like been a teenager and getting in a car with strange new older friends after a party driving to the desert, slowly. This is music that matters.
Talk Talk – Happiness Is Easy (1986)
The opening track from Talk Talk’s grossly underrated 3rd LP (“The Colour of Spring”). Musicians and journalists will endlessly wax lyrical about the following LP (“Spirit of Eden”) and rightly so as one of the rare LPs to genuinely change music and created a new genre (post-rock) before Slint, Shellac, Tortoise and God forbid Mogwai (LOL) made it mainstream. But the work started on this 3rd LP. This is my favourite Talk Talk LP and “Happiness is Easy” is my favourite track on it. The amazing journey here is that the band managed to leave their Blitz pop plinky-plonky past from the 1st LP (“The Party is Over”) and started to add space with the much better 2nd LP (“It’s My Life) for this to bear fruit on this excellent 3rd opus. This is the sound of a band maturing and getting very right on with John Coltrane and Sun Ra whilst listening heavily to the darker UK trippy jazz folk of John Martyn and Traffic. The result is space, groove, odd time signatures and jazz chords aplenty whilst still been a Top 10 commercial pop LP. Simply amazing. It grooves and captures you. Singer Mark Hollis (RIP) sings like Miles Davis played: restraint yet punchy when needed. If you do not feel this track from the first bars of the drum intro from master percussionist Lee Harris then you have no soul. Listen now and weep.
Stephen O’Malley – End Ground (2016)
One of my favourite recording of the last 10/20 years. This is one man and his guitar live in front of 10 people. That’s it. Lazy commentators will label this as Drone Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge Metal or whatever sub-genres of slow and heavy labels there are left at the bottom of their box of cliches. This is simply spiritual, hypnotising, minimalistic heavy rock. Yes, this is bone-rattling loud; Stephen O’Malley’s main band SunnO))))’s moto is “Maximum Volume Yields Maximum Results” and yes it is HEAVY. But it will possess you. This one track/LP is based on one riff repeated through effects (distortion, flanger, leslie, fader, repeater, etc.) and feeding off with and from the decay of the previous note building layer upon layer of distorted notes thus creating a space symphony for the gates of Hell. Think Black Sabbath meets Spacemen 3 in a ruined cathedral with a wall of amps (genuinely). To be played loud on headphones on vinyl (numerous limited coloured pressings available). This will clean your ears and your soul. You will be a better person once you have listening to this LP. Fact.
Telephone – Laisse Tomber (1978)
Possibly the only decent French Rock band that you must listen to (with the exception of 90’s Noir Desir also, until their lead singer decided to batter his girlfriend to death – not a good career move). This is what the Rolling Stones circa “Some Girls” would have sounded like if Charlie Watts had been a technical drummer. Personal hero Richard Kolinka is behind the kit and the feel of his playing simply makes this song the lament it is. This is the grotty sound of Parisian suburbian emptiness with its concrete jungle-like loneliness and endless melancholy. The double-entendre from the lyrics can be read as move on/don’t worry or do not die/love is here. This is not the sound of sunny post-card Paris but the music of late 70s recession doomed France played by musicians influenced somewhere between the Pistols and Gainsbourg. Produced by legendary punk producer Martin Rushent (Buzzcocks, Stranglers, Altered Images, Generation X, etc.). Slow wah-wah intro straight into licks from lead guitar, snaky drum feel and big bad bass. What else do you need? Stop been a snob, listen and discover your next favourite band.
Lou Reed & Metallica – Iced Honey (2011)
The biggest rock band in the world meets the world greatest songwriter and biggest under-rated artist of all time. This had to be massive. Not the best LP for sure (happy to give you that) but half of it is pure gold for sure. Do not listen to the endless polls placing this as the worst LP of all time. People are lazy idiots. David Bowie described this LP as “the greatest work”. This track is one of these little gems that will kill you as soon as you hear it. This is the essence of rock music to its simple basic elements. Killer riff, great lyrics, 4/4 drums, big bottom bass. Enough said. This is raw, heavy, dirty, brutal yet melodic and melancholic rock music (opening lyric: “You can’t put a butterfly in a jar”). You can smell the customed motorbike engines cooling down in the garage from here. This is black leather jacket stuff. Oh yes.
Listen to 'Could Be Wrong' below:
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