Big French, “Payback”

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Sweet revenge brought to you from members of Blanche Blanche Blanche & Great Valley.

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Sjimon Gompers | June 27, 2013

Sitting easy with Big French. (courtesy of the band)

“Payback” gives us the big sound of Big French, the project of New York's Quentin Moore along with members from Blanche Blanche Blanche and Great Valley. From a writing process that began in Germantown, NY: “Mahogany Man”-Moore fleshed out his vision of a musical metropolis full length, Downtown Runnin, with percussion from Great Valley's Jo Miller-Gamble and Blanche Blanche Blanche's Zach Phillips on the keys. Together they create a jam that is comprised of the progressive meticulous and mathematical approach that is revered and treated with an analog sanctity.

Initiated by an introductory synth blast followed by the equal explosion of guitar, Quentin and his wrecking ball crew seek out a skronk and roll type of “Payback” retribution. You can hear Quentin and Zach duking it out in an instrumental call and response battle. Phillips runs through the synthesized scales while Moore reacts and returns the sound exchange with a finger blistering wailing wah-wah rain of wild chord progressions that could go on for minutes had the action not been cut off at a minute and a half. The contributions from all 3 exhibit an energetic battle of the bands within the band combo of guitar-keys-drums that could go on for 10 or 20 minutes—had it not been for Big French's conscious restraint of concise precision.

The video from Zach Phillips of OSR Tapes gives “Payback” the VHS picture treatment within the television picture. Quentin Moore explores the concept of what it is to give something back, and talks about the giving of automobiles along with the perils of not following up when your hoopty gets towed by the city.

“What if there was a song called 'Payback' that didn't have so much to do with the fact that you were going to get someone back but what exactly it was that you were giving back to this person? Zach Phillips, who plays keyboards in Big French and who directed this music video, seems to think that we are going to give them our cars. But since the video shoot, only my car is conspicuously missing. I'm not positive but I think the cops, after I didn't move it for a week or two, declared it abandoned and relayed its location to a predatory towing company, Knight, or maybe Night, Towing in Brooklyn, who then proceeded to impound and smash my 1992 maroon Camry LE. The only reason I'm not sure is because I failed to completely follow up on it.”

Big French's album debut, Downtown Runnin will be available July 23 from Wharf Cat Records.

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