Big Troubles

About Big Troubles

Indie pop act Big Troubles began working together in 2009, but their music speaks of their love for the sounds of the '80s and '90s, ranging from shoegaze bands, jangle pop, and the C-86 brigade to lo-fi pop and the first stirrings of grunge. Big Troubles were formed by Alex Craig and Ian Drennan, two friends from Ridgewood, New Jersey who attended high school together. The two shared enthusiasm for the likes of Teenage Fanclub, My Bloody Valentine, Sugar, the Cleaners from Venus, and Let's Active, and when they both went off to college -- Craig attending New York University and Drennan enrolling at Tufts University in Massachusetts -- they stayed in touch and began writing songs together. In 2009, Craig and Drennan started recording as Big Troubles, sometimes meeting for songwriting and recording sessions and other times swapping tapes back and forth long distance. Big Troubles' first album, 2010's Worry, was very much a homemade affair, recorded on a four-track cassette deck with a primitive drum machine handling the percussion and Craig and Drennan overdubbing overdriven electric guitars and outdated analog synths into the sound of a full band. Released by Olde English Spelling Bee Records, Worry received enthusiastic reviews and Craig and Drennan assembled a version of the band to go out on the road, recruiting drummer Sam Franklin and bassist Luka Usmiani. (This lineup also serves double duty as the live embodiment of Franklin's lo-fi side project Fluffy Lumbers.) For their second album, 2011's Romantic Comedy, Big Troubles de-emphasized the lo-fi side of their sound and honed in on their pop influences; the four-piece edition of the band recorded the LP with producer and jangle pop hero Mitch Easter, while Chris Stamey of the dB's also contributed to the sessions. ~ Mark Deming

    Ridgewood, NJ