Big Neck Police is a name that’s been tossed around for way longer than it took me to see the band, which I regret. They’re part of a growing emergence of bands on the east coat that have been unifying and collecting a huge range of influences, mostly (if you ask me) dating back to Pavement. Heeney, Bluffing, The Gradients, Pile, Honduras, Ovlov, Krill, LVL UP, are just some of the names I’m talking about, but Big Neck Police hold a unique spot in this equation, crossing lines with the experimentation of Guerrilla Toss, Palberta and Show Me the Body.
First of all, there’s guitarist and vocalist Paco Cathcart. Musically, he’s fearless; unafraid to experiment, he explores every inch of his instrument, turning it from a guitar to a drum to a static machine with the help of a metal bar. Bassist Mac Kelly turns his bass into a synth, and drummer Hugo Stanley’s drums turn into an energy knob; they seek to employ every possible sound they can extract from their mediums. Big Neck is a noisy punk band, but underneath it all there’s an incredible agency and control over that noise, and the interlocked, almost telepathic, force that the trio brings to the stage results in a deeply connected trifecta.
An interesting choice that a band must make is how perceptible they choose to make their music. Is it going to be unrecognizable and ambiguous, or clear and discernible? Big Neck Police does not pigeonhole themselves on either spectrum, but their choices are always displayed in a way that allows them to find identity within ambiguity. The sound is angular, with subdivided rhythms and improvised noise sections—where the Guerilla Toss comparisons come in. It’s a vibrance only reached within a group of people who are so on the level as these three musicians.
Stream Big Neck Police’s Cast of the Dome EP below.