In Big Business, Warren always used to play his bass like a guitar, adding tremendous power and volume to Willis's thunderous percussion. The addition of a guitar has surprisingly softened the group's sludgy sound but only a little bit. On "Gold and Final," Warren's typical howl has relaxed to a bellow, and Kasai's guitar work makes those dexterous bass lines less audible.
It's like they've become more of a rock group and less of a metal band. Warren's booming bass is still there (it's particularly audible on the roaring "Cats, Mice"), but the spotlight has shifted to guitar. Kasai's squealing guitar flourishes supplement the boisterous low tones of "I Got It Online," while the staggering energy of "Found Art" shows a cohesive new three-instrument sound.
Over its nearly nine-minute duration, the album closer "Theme From Big Business" changes from a pulsing drone to a heavy-rock melody to a faint guitar murmur. The shape-shifting shows that although Big Business might not have ironed out all the kinks in its new sound, it certainly hasn't lost its noisy edge.
-- Catherine P. Lewis