"Cheat The Gallows"

(Custard Records 2008)Bigelf - Cheat The Gallows

In their heads, Bigelf are the biggest rock band in the world. Scratch that, they're the biggest band in the world. Most of the bands that are considered classics grew into their massive sounds. Bigelf, who are borrowing liberally from those classic rock bands, come flying out of the gate with relatively few releases to their name but so much production work on "Cheat The Gallows," their latest full-length, that at times it's downright excessive. Screw paying your dues; Bigelf are ready to rock and they want to rock big.

Frontman Damon Fox's tinny rasp conveniently finds an Ozzy Osbourne-like vocals stride for the twittering Magical Mystery Tour carnival atmosphere of "Gravest Show On Earth" and "Blackball," with the latter breaking down into a jam that brings to mind Pink Floyd. Thick guitar riffs thunder on "Superstar" for some AC/DC-bred feel good rock "n' roll while Queen-like dramatics rule on "Counting Sheep."

The goal of Bigelf is relatively clear: make music which rocks like Black Sabbath and The Beatles. However, Bigelf's execution of that goal on "Cheat The Gallows" is not so cut and dry. The album has such grandiose notions that it's confusing. Bigelf are clearly unfamiliar with the "less is more" approach as they hide their best take charge guitar riffs and inflate the vocal melodies.


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