Big Deal have finally hired a rhythm section and as a result of this new, more traditional approach have morphed from mellow to muscular
For Big Deal, album two was always going to be a case of adapt or die. Yes, their acclaimed 2011 debut ‘Lights Out’ had some appealingly dreamy tunes, but it felt defined by the London duo’s gimmicks – their music featured no bass or drums, and their lyrics kept hinting quite strongly that singer-guitarists Alice Costelloe and Kacey Underwood were sharing more than plectrums. Two years on, Big Deal have finally hired a rhythm section and as a result of this new, more traditional approach have morphed from mellow to muscular. ‘In Your Car’ and ‘Swapping Spit’ are grunge-pop earworms, the noisy blast of ‘Teradactol’ recalls Sleigh Bells, and ‘Dream Machines’ mixes shoegaze with stadium rock. In fact, bulking up suits them so well that when they return to ‘Lights Out’-style delicacy on ‘Little Dipper’, it comes off wan. And their lyrics? More subtle now, but Alice and Kacey are keeping us guessing. “If it was love, we let it die”, they sing on final song ‘Close Your Eyes’, harmonising mournfully.