There are different ways things can be strange. Different ways music can be strange. There are, first of all, things that are funny, music that makes you laugh. But Big Bill is not, essentially, funny. There are also things that are essentially different, in an unspecified way, like goths or punks, and again, ‘Pharmacy’ is arguably a punk track, but it is not strange like this. And then there are things that are outright weird, inexplicable, unexpected, the kind of things that become memes and mysteries. While Big Bill moves around that kind of strangeness, they go further. ‘Pharmacy’ is, apart from all of the above, disconcerting. We don’t know what’s going on in this video, but it’s equally morbid as it is funny, it’s sad and happy in equal amounts – and because of that, it cannot be happy and funny at all.
I don’t want to spoil too much by describing what’s going on – it’s pretty simple anyway, but if you don’t pay attention the joke’s very much on you – so here’s the video, premiering now on this very website:
Below is the press blurb which contains all the info about who Big Bill are and what they do. Their album Stand By Your Bill is out 17 November on First Humans Records.
Big Bill was formed in 2011 by brothers Eric and Cody Braden, Alan Lauer, and Alex Riegelman, though the seed for the band was planted years earlier when the Braden brothers were in high school. The two wrote countless songs together despite being untrained in music, and made entire “albums” of bizarre homespun folk, found sounds, and bad jokes. Even in Big Bill’s current, slightly more professional compositions, the element of the outsider artist that set them and their sound apart lives on.All four members of Big Bill are past 30 or fast approaching, so their music is informed less by anger at authority and stems more from personal disappointments and heavier life situations and setbacks. Still, their music is undeniably fun.Influenced by the deadpan irreverence of The Monks and Talking Heads, Big Bill has developed their own unique version of punk rock, alluding to the “all are welcome” vibe of punk’s early 80’s prime—as personified by Austin legends like Big Boys and The Dicks.
-- Beautiful Freaks, November 10, 2017