Big Eyes: 10 albums you should love as much as they do
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 16:45
- by Tom Dumarey
I've been a fan of Big Eyes ever since I first heard 2013's 'Almost Famous' and it doesn't look like that will change anytime soon with the release of their new album coming up. 'Streets of the Lost' will be out April 5 via Greenway Records (pre-order) and finds the Brooklyn-based band further honing their songwriting chops while seamlessly blending punk rock energy with big hooks and classic rock riffage. We caught up with vocalist/guitarist Kait Eldridge to talk to her about 10 albums that have influenced her as a songwriter. A top 10 that takes us from her teenage influences to what she has been listening to more recently.
Cheap Trick "In Color"
My favorite band in middle school was Lit.... yes the "My Own Worst Enemy" band, haha. But I am eternally grateful to them for getting me into Cheap Trick! Lit listed them in their "thank you" section on all of their CDs, and always referred to them as their "favorite band" in magazine interviews. Take a look at song number two off this record... sound familiar?
Buzzcocks "Singles Going Steady"
This was my very first vinyl record. It was given to me when I was 14 by my friend's dad, who had an extra copy lying around and knew I was into punk. Loud and in your face, but incredibly melodic. Sappy ass lyrics perfect for a budding hopeless romantic.
ALL "Allroy's Revenge"
I got into Descendents and ALL in 9th grade and became completely obsessed. I especially loved how much weirder ALL was. Crazier chord changes, trickier, bizarre guitar leads. Stephen Egerton was absolutely my biggest guitar influence in high school.
The Replacements "Stink"
This was the very first Replacements album I ever bought. I was 15 or 16. I had never heard any of their music before, but I had heard of them and I thought their name sounded badass. The simple, bold album art on "Stink" really stood out to me. I'm grateful this is where I started with them because I think a lot of later Replacements albums would have came off too "polished" for me at that age, and this was exactly what I needed. I ended up getting all of their albums over the next year or so, and heavily dove into Paul Westerberg's solo albums in my late teens. Bob Stinson was my biggest guitar influence in my late teens, for sure. I handmade the first batch of Big Eyes demo CDs (back in early 2010, damn time flies), and I ordered a rubber stamp online to rip off the cover of this album.
Scared of Chaka "Self Titled"
Got into this band in high school, and I loved how scrappy they sounded, but how solid their songwriting was. They were a huge influence on my songwriting in my old band Cheeky, and on early Big Eyes songs as well.
Alice Cooper "Love it to Death"
My friend Mike got me this album when I was 19 and I listened to it over and over and over again. Every song is a complete classic! My guitar playing definitely started tightening up when I started getting into more classic rock and hard rock in my late teens.
In my late teens and early twenties I played in a band called Used Kids and we listened to this album a LOT while on tour. My absolute favorite Squeeze album at this point is "East Side Story," but "Argybargy" was absolutely the most influential on my songwriting. I started using trickier chord progressions and my lyrics got more clever.
Joan Jett "Bad Reputation"
I actually didn't get into Joan Jett until I was about 20 years old, a fact which is made even more ridiculous being that she literally lives in the town I grew up in, Long Beach, NY. People have compared me to her since I started playing the guitar at 12 years old, and I stubbornly fought the comparison by refusing to listen to any of her albums. Luckily, I eventually gave in and dove into this album first, it's SO solid! I now completely embrace and am majorly flattered any time I get compared to her. She is a total badass and I hope one day we finally cross paths in Long Beach.
Utopia "Adventures in Utopia"
I've been on a huge Todd Rundgren/Utopia kick the past few years. Insanely talented songwriter. I love how he can go from a bizarre prog verse straight into a Beatles-esque chorus and somehow it works perfectly.
Pilot “Second Flight”
This is the band that did the song “Magic.” That’s on their first album, which is fantastic, this is their second album and I think it’s even better! Amazing harmonies, clever chord changes, tasteful drums, honestly just an impeccable band. Pilot is my latest obsession.
Lacking the talent to actually play in a band, Tom decided he would write about bands instead. Turns out his writing skills are mediocre at best as well.