Big Strides are probably one of the most unknown signed bands in the UK. They don't even have their own Wikipedia page for peat's sake. My first thought while listening through this album was "How could I not know about this band!?". Their second album, "Cry It All Out" is a must buy for any rock fan.
The album begins with "£2.49", and the punchy blues guitar riff makes for a great opening. The whole song is staright out no-nonsense blues rock, and Marcus O'Neill's two guitar solos begin to show us how talented the band are. After that we move to track two, "She Drinks Whisky" and the prominent acoustic riffs just make you want to get up and dance.
Another clear trait of this band is there ability to make jokes at their own expense, and still make great songs. For instance comical lines like "Help old ladies cross the road, to the rehab clinic" in "Let's Get Nice", and "As I was saying" in "Always Together", help keep the music fresh and funny.
The rhythm section, consisting of Tom Pi on Double Bass, something quite rare for a rock trio, and Lewis Kirk on Drums, keep the music as tight as it will ever be. Tom's jazzy bass riffs and improvisation off chords support Marcus' guitar extremely well, while Lewis' fast, tight drumming keep the up-tempo songs hard and punchy. "Lets Get Nice" is musically a showcase of Lewis and Tom's talents, with it's technical bowed bass and heavy drum solo.
The album closes with the up-tempo funky blues of "Sad Songs". "Sad Songs" is another excellent song that tops of the list of highs from this album, an album that makes you want to laugh, cry and dance all at the same time. It's very modern but reminiscent of artists like Chuck Berry and even Jimi Hendrix in some ways. Trust me if you're into blues, jazz or any kind of rock, this album is a must buy.