Review
BIG|BRAVE
Ardor

Southern Lord (2017) Brian Furman

BIG|BRAVE – Ardor cover artwork
BIG|BRAVE – Ardor — Southern Lord, 2017

I love music that expands as it moves as if it is pushing glaciers, building worlds, or splitting atoms. Music that is not meant for Sunday drives, lullabies, or backyard barbeques. Music that is meant to be listened too fully, as a whole, not in 2 minute pop biscuits, albeit I love that type of music as well. However, that listening can be easy, and doesn’t drive you to think about it, and that’s OK, just for a different time and place. If you are anything like me, Big|Brave’s newest record Ardor is that record that is not meant for the background. This is a record that is as challenging as it is pounding with loud bombastic, earthen guitars, and mountain building drums. The trio is constructing a new world, and Ardor is there to help you understand the process. 

Sometimes, right before I go to sleep, there is a moment where while I am sleeping, I fully recognize that I have drifted off.. As if my subconscious usurped my body to ensure that I am where I said I was going to be. So I don’t go all Tyler Durden-like. That is how I parallel the checks and balances of Ardor. For every deep, chugging, sloth-like movement, guitarist/vocalist Robbin Wattie is there to make sure that we are all there. Her wail is not unkind, but sharp against the metal, adding a blanket of uncomfort to the malaise. It’s like drinking charcoal water with a sprig of mint, under a heat lamp… or eating a turtle shell… or receiving paper cuts on your tongue coupled with a Swedish massage… 

The three songs on Ardor, “Sound”, “Lull”, and “Borer” all command the space they inhabit. For those of you that are having an existential crisis, or need to ponder life’s existence for a bit, this might be the record for you. 

BIG|BRAVE – Ardor cover artwork
BIG|BRAVE – Ardor — Southern Lord, 2017

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