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Album Review

Considering the often-fickle nature of music fans, five years is a hell of a long gap between albums. And with all of the setbacks that plagued Bigwig (injuries, lineup changes, etc.) since 2001's Invitation to Tragedy, it's almost certain some had given up hope that another Bigwig album would ever see the light of day. But 2006 saw the unthinkable happen — Bigwig returned to the punk scene with a new record in tow. And that record, Reclamation, was worth the grueling wait. It's no secret on past albums that comical ("Old Lady") and lighthearted ("Moosh") references often tempered the aggressive skatepunk nature of the band's songs. Well, not anymore. Those five years caused a buildup of untapped hostility within the guys that explodes all over Reclamation, with great results. From the fist-in-the-air singalong chorus of "War Inside" to the political rage of "Owned and Operated," Bigwig opens with a hard punch and doesn't let up until — well, the album ends. Even some of the calmest songs on the album, "Rat Race" and "Timebomb," are really no less urgent and compelling than their faster counterparts. Most reminiscent of the band's early work, "Last Song, Last Call" is graced with ska-like guitars amid an otherwise driving rhythm section, and "No Thought, No Spine" is an appropriately titled attack on fashion-conscious, consumer-driven music ("Only concerned with what you sell/And demographics never fail air waves"). Bigwig's most mature album to date, Reclamation lacks the more immediate catchiness and playful charm of their prior albums, but the band makes it up in sheer aggression and vigor. As the album finds them playing as strong as ever, fingers crossed one won't have to wait another five years for Bigwig's next offering to surface.


Formed: 1995 in New Jersey

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Since their start in 1995, Bigwig have delivered an aggressive dose of sarcasm to the East Coast shores of New Jersey. Under the influence of Rich Kids on LSD and Propagandhi — minus the anarcho-politics — members Tom Petta (vocals/guitar), John (bass), Josh (guitar), and Dan (drums) didn't waste any time with their initial releases. Coming to the attention of Fearless Records through Strung Out's Jim Cherry, the band appeared on a handful of compilations and two EPs before their first...
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Reclamation, Bigwig
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