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On disc: Bigelf

Cheat The Gallows - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

Cheat The Gallows

Cheat The Gallows
(Powerage Records - 2009)

Californian outfit Bigelf started in the early 90's and right from the start they presenting a unique mix of rock sounds and managed to add something new. Cheat The Gallows is their 4th album and the first since 2003's Hex. A bombastic keyboard part opens up Gravest Show On Earth, marching drum, heavy riffs and the unique vocals of Damon Fox soon hook you up. Theatric sounds combined with heaviness. If you can imagine a psychedelic rock tune with more then one dash of Queen and the Beatles, then you have a faint idea about Bigelf's sound. But you can also find some Pink Floyd and Tony Iommi-riffing in their music... Listen to the psychedelic doom rocker Blackball and you will find some Black Sabbath-ish sounds. For a moment there are reminiscences to The Slade... Twists and turns are everywhere. And so this one changes too. The saxophone gives it a jazzy edge while the organ and keyboard are more ELP-ish. Surprise, surprise - the song changes again! Money, It's Pure Evil was the first single of Cheat The Gallows and the catchy refrain will infect you immediately. Great guitar play. Slowly and with acoustic guitar they kick off No Parachute - a song with Beatles-que elements, a singing guitar and partly a bit twisted. But this time no big surprises. Ace Mark's guitar play at The Game reminds me for a brief moment of Santana... But then gets heavy again. A heavy rocker is Superstar - and so the sonic roller coaster ride takes you to another level. This one is an authentic 70's rock song. The closer Counting Sheep is a symphonic rocker with Floyd-ish elements - and again, this just one side of the story!
Its impossible to describe the sound universe of Bigelf! They seem to take bits and pieces from the last 40 years of rock, mix it up and present it in a new and energetic sound. I can only recommend to check out the Finnish-Californian outfit! Check out: Blackball, Hydra, The Evils Of Rock And Roll and Race With Time.

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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