Much like Fall Out Boy‘s recent album Save Rock and Roll, the rock duo Big Deal has a boldness in its naming. Such a daring choice of words can act as a challenge, maybe even leading to heightened expectations. After all, Big Deal themselves ask in one of their songs, “what if no one else cares?”
Well, there’s plenty to care about in the group’s second album June Gloom. The pair, consisting of Alice Costelloe and Kacey Underwood, provide a solid rock album driven by its inventive and expansive melodic lines. These melodies are carried out in both the vocals and guitars, often subtly decorated to add nuance to what can be seen as just distortion-tinged jamming. The wistful lyrical content and doubled singing lines often comes across as that of distant lovers, singing the same tune to each other from afar, yearning for bygone days.
The album opens with the quickly meshing lines of “Golden Light,” immediately imparting the importance of the melodies on the listener. “Dream Machines” stands out as the best track, with syncopated drums and repetitive guitar that asks the somewhat melancholy question, “will it matter if I’m around?” “Teradactol” has plenty of edge and a stop-and-start manner that adds stylistic variety. “Pristine” also stands out as just that, a pristine, acoustic lovers’ appeal.
At times, the doubled singing lines on the album seem unnecessary and aren’t always completely in tune. Also, the reflective nature of many of the songs can allow the album to drag at points, especially during the second half (“Pillow,” “Little Dipper”). But there is also plenty to like about June Gloom that makes the creators, at the very least, a decently sized deal.