Reviews Big Eyes Stake My Claim

Big Eyes

Stake My Claim

As much I knew I’d like this record after spending some time with Almost Famous and seeing the band live a few times, I was hesitant to review it. There are certain sounds I have trouble describing. So while I enjoyed Almost Famous, it had this hard to summarize element where I felt vocalist Kait Eldridge’s lyrics blended into guitar that blended into the bass and drum. It’s good, I like the songwriting, I like the songs, but it I struggled with saying why. In writing about it now, that last sentence has me thinking it might be production.

Anyhow, let’s talk about the now, which is Big Eyes’ third LP, Stake My Claim. This time I can talk about it and will back up the claim that it’s a good one. Big Eyes play in the punk circuit but their sound definitely isn’t restricted to the genre ghetto. It’s more open-ended rock, but is concise, fiery, and personal, which makes it a good fit in the punk scene. I hear as much Cheap Trick and other non-gimmicky classic rock as I hear Ramones (and the obligatory Joan Jett reference). Taking those three namedrops as a foundation, then add Eldridge’s own personal voice, which is where Big Eyes truly shine and continue to grow. She’s said somewhere along the way that this record, hence the title, is her stepping forward and being more up-front.

Stake My Claim has that solid rock core but Eldridge’s vocal skill at punching out a lyric hook to match the guitar-driven songs is where the strength lies. She’s able to twist and emote her vocals within a verse-chorus-verse punk structure that’s relatively rigid and predictable, giving little twists here and there instead of going for more obvious change-ups in formula to make moments hit. It’s the surprise inflection and ability to line up with the percussion that makes it jump.

While I personally think songs complaining about smartphone culture are blasé at this point, “Leave This House” is definitely the best song on the record. The theme is about LED screens consuming our days away, but it’s the melodic twists that are truly brilliant. It balances a first person feel, a universal concept, and some hooks that both punch in the face but echo around your head after listening. To offer some high praise, this is what rock music is supposed to be.

It’s that ability to keep the melody at the forefront but subtly changing, flowing like a river, that separates Big Eyes. “Alls I Know” shuts the door on the record in the same fashion, charging with a forceful current that’s always downstream but never quite certain, each twist and turn giving a pleasant surprise. Stake My Claim grows off the imprint of their previous work, using that hard hitting rock core but giving a unique touch throughout. It’s powerful, yet tempered, forceful instead of soaring. And this time it’s personal.

8.8 / 10Loren
KFAI - Undead
Leave a comment

8.8 / 10

8.8 / 10

Share this content
Related features

One Question Interviews Big Eyes

Posted Oct. 25, 2015, 12:46 p.m.

Kate Eldridge (Big Eyes) What is the most annoying recurring thing you read about your band (whether accurate or not)? I am really bothered by ...

KFAI - Root Of All Evil
More by Big Eyes

Big Eyes

Streets Of The Lost

8.0 / 10 Big Eyes - Streets Of The Lost album cover

In the past I’ve described Big Eyes as half-punk, half-classic rock in a Cheap Trick vein. It’s concise and punchy like punk, but the energy relies on more traditional rock hooks. It’s ...

Big Eyes

Almost Famous

8.5 / 10 Big Eyes - Almost Famous album cover

Seattle is made out to be such a dreary place. Big Eyes released a largely positive-sounding debut in Hard Life and the reviews basically talked about the band’s relocation from Brooklyn to ...

Related news

Tours Big Eyes' "Hourglass"

Posted March 31, 2019, 11:01 a.m.

Big Eyes will release the new Streets of the Lost on April 5 (Greenway Records). First, they've released a video to the new song "Hourglass." The band is currently ...

Records Big Eyes announced Streets of the Loss

Posted March 3, 2019, 1:33 p.m.

Big Eyes is back with a new single, a tour at the end of the month, and a brand new LP titled Streets of the Lost. The new album releases ...

Bands New Rose debut on Broken Circles

Posted Sept. 24, 2016, 11:15 p.m.

Featuring members of Big Eyes and RIPS, country band New Rose will release their debut album, All Nite, on Broken Circles on Oct. 21. Claiming Flying Burrito Brothers as influence ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.