Artie Bucco Loves Big Business

As posted by by Gary Suarez

" While headbanging and throwing the horns at an indie metal act along with countless others in a packed crowd, the last person you expect to see rocking out is a dude from The Sopranos. Well, that’s exactly what I spied with my little eye during the Big Business show in New York City last night.

Indeed, John Ventimiglia, the actor best known for his role as restaurateur Artie Bucco on the sadly departed HBO mafia drama, stood grinning mere feet from the admirable pit that erupted during “Hands Up”, one of the finest tracks from Big Business’ impeccable sophomore album Here Come the Waterworks. Even as a devotee of the aforementioned television program, it was hard to keep my eyes off the band, which absolutely fucking ruled Mercury Lounge, one of the last few good rock clubs left in this godforsaken town. As the previously leaked “Gold and Final” suggested, the new tracks played from the imminent Mind The Drift (which was available for sale at the show!) lack the visceral groin-level kick of their earlier songs. The audience definitely seemed to dig these newer, less frenetic tunes, though of course responded to familiar cuts like “Just as the Day was Dawning” with cathartic bodily tremors. Drummer Coady Willis displayed a fascinating rhythmic combination of militancy and avant-aptitude throughout the set, while Jared Warren’s basslines completely overshadowed the less prominent guitar work of new member Toshi Kasai. Though enjoyable as a texture, Kasai’s performance seemed almost superfluous considering the proficiency and sonic dominance of the rhythm section, something rarely noticed at metal shows.

The only letdown of the night was opener Tweak Bird, a scraggly bass-drums duo whose quite likable debut was produced by Kasai and Melvins drummer Dale Crover. I was surprised by just how underwhelming these guys were considering they essentially played material from that one release, and I really hope it was just an off-night for the band since the headliner was well worth showing up for. Anyhow, you can see for yourself as Big Business continues its U.S. tour through the beginning of June."

5/12 Boston MA @ Middle East Downstairs
5/13 Cleveland OH @ Grog Shop
5/14 Columbus OH @The Basement
5/15 Louisville KY @ Headliners Music Hall
5/16 Detroit, MI @ Small’s
5/17 Chicago IL @The Bottom Lounge
5/18 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock Social Club
5/20 Denver CO @ Larimer Lounge
5/21 Salt Lake City UT @ Bar Deluxe
5/22 Boise ID @ Neurolux
5/23 Portland OR @ Dante’s
5/25 Seattle WA @ Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room
5/27 San Francisco CA @Bottom of the Hill
5/28 Costa Mesa CA @ Detroit Bar
6/1 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
6/2 San Diego CA @ Casbah
8/5 Hollywood, CA @Knitting Factory w/ Torche

"Mind The Drift" is available now on CD in the Hydra Head Shop . Keep your eyes peeled for "Mind The Drift" vinyl out later this month.