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Big Fresh

Moneychasers

(Redeye; US: 11 Oct 2011; UK: 11 Oct 2011)

A Little Bit of Everything, and Then Some More

Lexington, Kentucky-based prog-pop-soul music collective Big Fresh cover a lot of ground on their newest release Moneychasers. From the opening vocals of “We’re All Rockstars on the Internet,” which sound something like Queen’s arena-rock stylings in their “Bohemian Rhapsody” heyday, to the trip-hoppy beats that kick in moments later or the hippie-psych stylings of follow-up tune “Lonely Hearts of Rome,” Big Fresh throws the listener one curveball after another. Confounding expectations can be a hit-or-miss strategy, but the band hits more than it misses, with songs like “Pretend I’m a Computer” successfully mixing bits of pop songcraft, funk, rock and prog sensibility into well-crafted – but not seamless – gems. Other times, the songs sag a bit beneath their weight. “You Are My Sea” aims for atmosphere but ends up merely formless, while the nursery-rhyme-ish “Sophia” is plain dull. A mixed bag, then, from a band that seems to pride itself on never getting into a rut.

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DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


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20 Jul 2009
The record amounts to an exuberant love letter addressed from a stable of hard-working, veteran musicians (the band has been making albums for over a decade) to some of the quirkiest and most innovative pop/rock acts of the last few decades.
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