Bruise Reviews: Bigwig - Reclamation

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2006 Fearless Records

 It's abundantly obvious someone has lit a fire under Bigwig's asses. Maybe it was the "administration" and their all out disregard for the country, its people and laws. Or maybe it was the recent change in line-up (with Jeff taking over on lead guitar). Whatever the case, the New Jersey punkers are red hot with political fury and fiery metal riffs on their 4th album to date, Reclamation. And they should be considering the nearly 5 year void since their last album Invitation to Tragedy left fans burning for more.

 Seemingly since they broke on the scene, Bigwig has been one of the most unfairly underrated and overlooked bands. Often dismissed in a ramble of other bands (i.e. "They sound like NOFX, or Strung Out"), all that's about to change. 2006 finds the crew as a more mature and tighter group, fueled by a lyrical depth, technical proficiency and broad spectrum of influence (most notably those metal riffs I was talking about that seemingly give the album it's driving force). Reclamation is largely political and the opener A War Inside is no exception. Bigwig's patented power-pop-punk, aggressive-yet-catchy sound permeates the tune and sets the album off at a blistering pace that doesn't let up until the 6th track Rat Race. A mid-tempo song with a very familiar sound, yet unique enough that it will keep generalizations at bay. Reclamation then immediately resumes it's fireball pace. Last Song, Last Call floats into a ska-meets-hardcore anthem for those of us who remember when it was nearly illegal to be a punk rocker. The days when the police, for any reason they could find (see noise ordinances, underage drinking, fire code, etc) would shut down mom & pop venues while an army of officers armed with batons and mace waited outside with the paddy wagon to cart away "unruly punks".  I could go on for years singing praises of this album, but the bottom line is Reclamation kicks ass.

 It seems every band that's stood the test of time has an album where they turn the corner to achieve greatness. Reclamation is just that album for Bigwig. Hopefully we won't have to wait 5 more years for the follow up.

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