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Big Kizz: Eye On You EP Review

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Big Kizz: <i>Eye On You</i> EP Review

There are many reasons why bands release EPs, but usually it’s one of three: 1) they haven’t released anything in years and they need to remind their fans, “Hey, we’re still here, and maybe you’ll see more soon!” 2) They’re a huge band that has a forthcoming record and they want to dangle a taste in front of their rabid fanbase. 3) They’re a new band that is just starting, and a quick, three-song EP can say, “Here’s what we do. Get ready for more.”

For Sweden’s Big Kizz, the third reason is most certainly why Eye On You is hitting the streets. It’s a three-song harbinger of the band’s bare rock vibe, and a tease for a full-length debut that is possibly dropping in the fall. Considering the other bands the three members of Big Kizz logged time in before they started this project, a little sample of what’s to come is either gonna be a big let down for fans of their previous work, or an upbeat breath of fresh air.

The band features drummer Axel Sjöberg (ex-Graveyard), John Hoyles (Spiders, ex-Witchcraft) on bass and vocalist/guitarist Pontus Westerman (Lady Banana). For Westerman, Big Kizz is not a big jump from the garage rock of Lady Banana. His influence weighs thick on this new project, vocally and musically. But for Hoyles and Sjöberg, it’s a bit more of a jump. Witchcraft were arguably the first band to really stoke the fires of the Black Sabbath-meets-Pentagram occult rock movement that has since spread like the plague. Graveyard were there during the inception of the darkness too, but they’re style was a lot more blues based than Witchcraft’s folk leanings. If you’re expecting to hear the doom and gloom of Sjöberg and Hoyles’ previous bands, don’t wait up. Big Kizz is more about dance floors and beach parties than wearing cloaks next to haunted castles in the woods.

The EP’s title track starts out with a great jangly shuffle and buoyant bass line from Hoyles. With the psychedelic whooshing sounds swirling in the background, “Eye On You” is the perfect song to do The Swim to, or at least a good Twist or Shimmy. “Baby Boy” hits the waves immediately. Heavy reverb, busy tom-tom work from Sjöberg and some bouncy rhythms and melodies scream “surf’s up.” Then, just when you think, “These guys must like The 13th Floor Elevators,” there’s a cover of Roky Erickson’s “White Faces” to confirm your suspicions. From the sound of Eye On You, Big Kizz are gearing up to spread some good ol’ Nuggets style rock ’n’ roll. Judging from the big, red pair of lips on the cover, they’re out to have a good time doing it.