Independent release, 2000
REVIEW BY: George Agnos
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/29/1999
Big Meteor are a folk-rock band from Ottawa, Canada. Like many CD's of this genre, there is also a little mix of country and blues throughout, but what this band has that sets it apart is their unique brand of quirkiness.
This is apparent on the very first song called "Wild River", a midtempo rockabilly tune. It takes a little while to get used to lead singer and songwriter David Wimble's voice because it is monotone and his sense of rhythm is a little different. Nevertheless, it is a good song about what people will do for love and sets the tone for the rest of the CD.
This style appears later to better effect on "Wall Of Ice", where the imagery is outstanding. But it borders on annoying when the songs are less strong such as on "Just The Two Of Us" and "You Can't Love Yet". And I have mixed feelings about the closer "Big Meteor", a very slow number where it sounds like Wimble has recorded in the bathroom.
There are some more conventional sounding songs as well. "To Whom I Must Confess" sounds like a classic country tune. The same can be said for "The Waitress", a touching tune with a nice steel guitar solo. "Honest Man" sounds like it was taken from the Bruce Springsteen songbook as it is about a man unjustly accused of committing a crime. Springsteen fans will like this song.
Larry Wayne Church is the featured guitar player and he turns in many solos on Wild River. He has an understated style that avoids flashiness. He is particularly strong on slower songs like "Alive In Every Hour" where he turns in an exceptional emotional performance.
The highlights on Wild River are "Mission", the most assured of the rockers, where everything (songcraft, instrumental prowess) really clicks. "Until You Take Your Leave" has a scorching piano part and a complex melody line, with some shades of progressive rock without the bloatedness of that genre. "Tap On My Shoulder" is a slow, majestic folk tune that shows Wimble at the height of his creative powers.
These three songs make the CD worth getting, but as a whole, Wild River does not quite gel. It seems like they have thrown a lot of ideas in here to see what would stick, and the CD never gains any momentum. However, Big Meteor have a lot of potential, and with a little tweaking, they could come up with some great CDs in the future.
For more information about Big Meteor or to order their album, please visit their Web site.