Sixteen years is a long time for a band to remain together. Not many bands are capable of this, with many bands choosing to disband after being a band for only a few years, or with members choosing to leave for a variety of reasons. Surviving quite a few member changes, Allston, Massachusetts’ Big D and the Kids Table have soldiered on since 1995, releasing 6 full lengths in that span, along with quite a few extended plays and splits to whet their fans’ appetite. 2011 brings a new full length from the band, showing that although they lost another member in the form of Sean P. Rogan, they are still stronger than ever.
For the Damned, the Dumb, and the Delirious marks a return to form for Big D, as it is a marked departure from the experimental “Stroll” that the band assumed for their 2009 release Fluent In Stroll. In fact, there isn’t much “Stroll” to be found here, as the band refocuses their efforts on making the ska/punk that fans have grown accustomed to. Album opener “Walls” sets the tone for the album, with urgency being felt by the whole band, as new guitarist Nick Pantazi and drummer Derek Davis blazing through the opening seconds before giving way to bassist Steve Foote and the brass section of Ryan O’Connor (saxophone) and Chris Lucca (trumpet). “Clothes Off” is a fun ska-tinged track, akin to “Noise Complaint” from Strictly Rude, and is an ode to a woman whom helps out when one is too drunk to do much of anything.
Vocalist Dave McWane gets personal on the track “My Buddy’s Back,” about a war vet who has returned home after “that wicked long war.” No Big D album would be complete without a song that attacks politicians, and “It’s Raining Zombies On Wall Street” does just that. The most “punk” track on the album, “…Zombie…” sees McWane sharing his displeasure for the Republican party, especially Rush Limbaugh, when he proclaims “And when I get my hands on Limbaugh /I’ll split his legs like a chicken wing.” The band doesn’t let up with the energy, as the next track, “Set Me Straight,” keeps up the pace while mixing the speed with the ska, reminiscent of “My Girlfriend’s On Drugs.” Perhaps the best track on the album (not surprising, as it is the album closer), “One Day,” starts off as an acoustic number, where McWane waxes poetic about things he plans on doing “one day,” before the band turns the volume to 11 and unleashes another dose of their ska-punk on listeners.
There are a few missteps, however, as some tracks do feel like filler, and with 17 tracks on the album, this is bound to happen. “Best Of Them All” and “Stringers” are the best examples of this; the former being a song about having a shitty day and hitting the bar, cheering “the best of them all,” while the latter is about not wanting to hear certain music (and, coincidentally, is the only track on the album to truly feature the sound of “Stroll”).
Overall, For the Damned, the Dumb, and the Delirious is a good album. The worst that can be said about it is that it is a typical Big D album, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Fans that were turned off by Fluent In Stroll will warm back up to the band, while fans of that album will be shocked to hear what Big D is, and has always, been about. Having gotten their “mature, experimental” album out of the way, Big D and the Kids Table return to their roots, and they haven’t sounded this good in years. Ska isn’t dead, you just have to know where to look to find it.
2. Clothes Off
3. Modern American Gypsy
4. Best of Them All
7. My Buddy's Back
9. Destination Gone Astray
10. Roxbury (Roots `N' Shoots)
12. It's Raining Zombies On Wall Street
13. Set Me Straight
14. Not Our Fault
15. Riot Girl
16. Good Looking
17. One Day
Big D and the Kids Table is a third-wave ska/punk band formed in October 1995 in Allston Village, Boston, Massachusetts signed to Springman Records. Members of Big D ... also run the Boston, Massachusetts area record label, Fork In Hand Records, which has released numerous albums from Big D ... and other local Boston artists. Their music often reflects member's personal lives, especially the financial difficulties that many members have faced in the past. ... read more