Albatross and Teen Memories of Big Wreck and Soundgarden

Albatross is the first album released under the name Big Wreck since the 2001 release The Pleasure and the Greed. I decided to pick up Albatross today, on it’s launch.

Of course, this album is really Ian Thornley’s post-Big Wreck bandmates, Thornley, re-adopting the Big Wreck name.

It’s a really good album, and I enjoyed my first listen a lot. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed the first Big Wreck album, In Loving Memory Of…

This takes me back to 1997, when Soundgarden announced that they were breaking up. Soundgarden was one of my favorite bands as a teenager; and the first favorite of mine to break up. Before then, I just hadn’t considered that people in bands would decide to stop working together, when they seemed to be making good music. Give me a break, I was 16 years old. :)

I mean, Nirvana split after Kurt Cobain’s sudden death. A far more tragic and shocking end.

I knew bands split up when members died, or retired at a ripe old ages. Or joined other bands.

But to just call it quits? I didn’t realize there was such a thing as “Creative Differences” before then. Of course, I came to grips with it after I thought about it a lot, listened to Badmotorfinger fifty-thousand more times, and discovered Big Wreck.

The striking similarities between the vocals of Chris Cornell and Ian Thornley, as well as Big Wreck’s similar if slightly more upbeat musical composition was a consolation. They were kind of like “Soundgarden Lite” for me, and over time and repeated listening, I gained a deeper appreciation for Big Wreck’s first album, and their songwriting. They became their own sound, in my mind.

Albatross is every bit a Big Wreck album, and I like it a lot. It certainly reminds me those innocent days when I thought bands just had fun, made music, and got along like best pals. Probably even more than Soundgarden’s reunion reminded me of those days… Kind of weird, eh?

Photo Credit: David Patte/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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