Saturday, September 5, 2009
Saturday Spin: Dave Matthews Band "Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King"
In honor of the Dave Matthews Band long standing tradition to play at the Gorge this weekend, and given the fact that I was supposed to be there but work got in the way, I thought it only right to feature their latest album in this weeks installment of Saturday Spin.
While it seems like being a fan of the DMB crew went out of fashion with the 90s they have always delivered pop rock for their loyal following and made a name off stellar live shows as anyone who has seen them at the Gorge, or anywhere else, can attest. At this point in time they don’t have anything left to prove and deliver an impressive album filled with the sounds you know and love.
While the band has always played an integral roll in the live dynamic of the band, here on Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King it seems like they have upped their involvement in studio recordings as well. Featuring a fuller sound, that is composed of multiple tracks of guitars, drums, horns and other more subtle elements this album will have you nodding along and grooving unlike anything I’ve heard from them in the past.
Of course the guitar licks are the main draw next to Dave’s distinct voice and clever lyrics, but the heavy dose of brass instruments gives it a more upbeat and jam band like vibe. Far from the pop sensibilities they became known for earlier in the decade, they sound raw and alive here just enjoying the act of creating music as a group of like minded musicians with no one to please but themselves.
The aptly titled “Time Bomb” features a very mellow intro with a brief saxophone solo before fading out into Dave’s first verse. As the song progresses it builds up to an explosion of sound that wouldn’t be out of place on any hard rock album – I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about a mosh pit forming this weekend.
Of course it’s not a complete 180 for the band and anyone who has been a fan, new or old, will find enjoyment on this release. They touch on those sounds that made them famous, while at the same time letting them evolve more naturally than they had in the years past. Big Whiskey & The GrooGrux King may not lessen the supposed “played out” stigma attached to the Dave Matthews Band, but it will give all of us DMB fans more of what we had been hoping for.