The world is a small, and indeed random, place. Sometime in the early nineties a younger, slimmer and more impressionable version of myself bumped into Chip Z Nuff, then co-driver of psychedelic, sleazy pop-rock musical vehicle Enuff Z’Nuff, loitering about in Kensington Market. I got a photo, an autograph but most importantly a cool anecdote. A quarter of a century later I find him loitering about my inbox as part of the most excellent Superbig. And if that previous band revelled in the Day-Glo trappings of the Summer of Love, this time out Jimmy Fountalas steers things in a more forward thinking direction. Superbig exist at a point where muscular alt-rock collides with slick power-pop and the result is music which has the perfect blend of weight and sophistication, of quality and quantity. It is both big and clever! How cool is that?
Sweet spot music, that’s what this is! Yes, it has many other labels applied by journalists only slightly lazier than myself, power-pop, pop-rock, alt-pop, whatever but labels are very subjective so better to consider what the music is rather than merely what we are going to pigeon-hole it. Sweet spot because Sideways Love sits at a wonderful point where the accessible meets the discerning, rock brawn meets pop brains, where rawness is tempered by melody, familiarity is balanced by inventiveness. Rock music devoid of the usual cliche, pop music with a new set of teeth.
Sideways Love, from the forthcoming album Barely Holding On, is that great polymath song, it doesn’t come with the bombastic baggage and cliche of the rock world but delivers a sound powerful enough to take your head clean off. Unexpected for sure. Pop was never this intimidating and rock was never this smart…looks like Superbig are putting a third option back on the menu.