December 13, 2007


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Bigelf, Hex
Custard Records, Nov. 20
By now I can’t begin to guess how many times my hopes have been dashed when an album comes in from a band slotted to warm up the Worcester Palladium crowd, not that UK crew Bigelf are on the Palladium’s calendar, but they’re probably the only mid-sized, well-promoted indie-metal band that isn’t. And so I peered with great trepidation at Bigelf’s album cover: weird trees like on the cover of Black Sabbath’s debut, check. Four tall skinny dudes in Jack the Ripper hats, black outfits and big crosses they hold no faith in, yeppity yep. In the opening song, guy yells “I’m the MAD HATTER!” and laughs into an echo chamber like on that stupid Ozzy song, after which they steal from “Electric Funeral,” bada-bing. “Come ON, you guys,” I moaned aloud, pulling over to vomit, cry and punch my own face in.

But then these guys suddenly got awesome — awesome and hilarious, intentionally or not. The Sabbath ripoffs begin and end with “Madhatter,” and for the rest of the album they nick The Beatles, ELO, Pink Floyd (“Bats in the Belfry II,” which comes before “Bats in the Belfry I” in the track list, is ELO doing “Welcome to the Machine”) and Cheap Trick (“Pain Killers”). If this doesn’t take over the world, it’ll be one of the best what-the-hell-was-thats since Wesley Willis. B — E. W. S.