Duck Troubles (Watch out for Big Troubles…and a Ducktails Digression)

So it feels as though there are about a zillion North Jersey/Underwater Peoples bands in the clan of musicians that has emerged in the past year or so.  I could never hope to be very well acquainted with every single one, but right now the band that is filling the New Jersey void when I feel like I’ve listened to too much Real Estate is Big Troubles.  Watch out for these boys, because you can expect big things from them.  They may be young, but what they may lack in age they make up for in loudness and catchiness.  Where most of their Underwater Peeps peers may seem a little languid and relaxed, Big Troubles bring the energy you may have been missing.  As much as I like to chill and embrace my suburban environment, I often wonder where the loud amazing pop songs are.  But they’re out there.

I first heard “Freudian Slips,” which was immediately stuck in my head constantly, but I wrote it off as a fluke because how could all of their songs be that catchy?  They just are that catchy.  Sure, some take more listens to get into than others, but if you give them a shot you’ll also get sucked into their universe of garage rock that pays homage to hazy nineties rock (they must love nostalgia, just check out their angelfire site) and all of your first favorite bands.  “Freudian Slips” has a kind of Pains of Being Pure at Heart vibe, or calls to mind the Smiths if they were all of a sudden extremely upbeat, while “Worn Out” could be a Deerhunter song, menacing and melancholy.  Plus they cover all the ground in between.  And these guys seem serious as a band.  They jam like they mean business, they have nice guitars and haircuts, and are gaining some serious momentum after only coming onto the scene last July.

Ducktails at Monster Island Basement in Brooklyn (Photo by Anna)

Big Troubles are getting ready to set off on a week-long tour at the end of July opening for Ducktails and also functioning as the Ducktails band.  And let me tell you firsthand that they are just the ingredients needed to turn Ducktails from a tropical tape fuzz outfit into a punchy riff-pop project.  You may not welcome this departure from the blissed-out dreaminess of Ducktails past, but if there’s anyone qualified to give Ducktails the volume and driving guitar noise that he needs, it’s the Big Troubles bros.  And sure, he now sounds like Real Estate colliding with Pavement in uber singer-songwriter mode and yeah, “Killing the Vibe” sounds like the riff from “Fake Blues” totally inverted.  But I digress…apparently Ducktails’ Matt Mondanile was the one who “discovered” Big Troubles, although I imagine that you don’t have to look too far beyond your own backyard to find the protégés who will take over as the next New Jersey novelty.  Keep an eye out for their debut LP Worry out on Olde English Spelling Bee later this month and below, grab “Freudian Slips,” peep their tour dates and Big Troubles in a bathroom and I’ll link you to watch the new Ducktails band playing old favorite “Landrunner” at Monster Island Basment in June (both via The Tripwire).


Ducktails/Big Troubles Tour:
July 25th – Whartscape Festival – Baltimore, MD
July 26th – Younglove’s – Philadelphia, PA w/ Social Junk
July 27th – Great Scott – Boston, MA w/ Reports
July 28th – Flywheel Arts Space – Easthampton, MA w/ Spectre Folk
July 29th – Apohadion – Portland, ME w/ Herbcraft
July 30th – Glasslands – Brooklyn, NY w/ Julian Lynch, La Big Vic, Campfires

Big Troubles – Freudian Slips


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