We get quite a few CDs coming across our desk. There's the good, the bad and the expected and the not. Some show up unceremoniously and then there is those that show up with T-shirts. (note to bands and PR peeps, throwing in something extra really gets a site's attention)
Big Picture is Chicago band The Locals fourth studio project and latest release. Six years in the making, the album drives home a power-pop, alt-rock sound that hearkens back to the mid-Nineties female rock boom recalling sounds of the Breeders, PJ Harvey and Tori Amos. Lead singer Yvonne Doll's voice draws one back to that time as well, sounding like a sharp hybrid of Juliana Hatfield and Gwen Stefani. Tracks move from urgent to earnest, intricate in depth to unrestrained with playfulness. Big Picture shifts The Locals previous sound into a more guitar driven style, but beneath the alternative sound bits of their root-rock past still linger, adding unique touches to the songs. Finding a band maturing their sound while holding on to the necessary reference points of their past, borrowing from musical history and packaging it in a unique and fresh way is a tough order to fill. The Local's Big Picture is certainly a positive step in that direction.