Almost Famous, the 2013 release from Seattle’s Big Eyes, busts out of the gate with “Nothing You Could Say” — a riff-heavy, drum-bashing, fist-in-the-air anthem with guitarist and vocalist Kate Eldridge recalling Joey Ramone or Joan Jett. “The Sun Still Shines” begins with an almost Deep Purple-inspired guitar riff, but before long it’s vintage Runaways. “You’ve got a lotta nerve treatin’ me that way,” Eldridge sings defiantly. And the rest of the album continues in the same vein; Eldridge peppering the short punk songs with killer guitar shrediosity. Soaring harmonized guitar solos meet the power chords of the Ramones, the Dead Boys or the Buzzcocks. Big Eyes have two tempos, faster and fastest, and two volumes, louder and pissed off, but they’re also melodic and fun.
Elsewhere “Ain’t Nothing But The Truth” begins with a sludgy bass line direct from early Nirvana, Mudhoney or any number of other luminaries from the heyday of grunge rock and Sub Pop Records. And by the time “Ain’t Nothing But The Truth” hits its chorus it’s back to snarled upper-lips, sunglasses indoors, black leather jackets and Pabst-pounding aggression. Big Eyes might’ve found their rightful home in Seattle — away from the effete artiness of post-CBGB’s New York City (the band began in Brooklyn). If you’re hungry for some nuts ‘n’ bolts rock ‘n’ roll, or feeling starved for four chords played in 4/4 time with a bad attitude, check out Seattle’s Big Eyes.
Big Eyes play with Portland slacker-punks Youthbitch and Eugene’s up-and-coming “cuddle-shred” band Martian Manhunter 8 pm Friday, Nov. 29, at the Wandering Goat; $5 suggested donation.