Truly a lost gem in the seas of the post punk Atlantic, Big Flame could be an island by itself. Every song the 3 members made was an amazing quick blast of energy, mixing a Captain Beefheart groove with a free-jazz punk aesthetic that sounds contrived on paper, but once played it was obvious they were like no other. The speed and precision almost gives into a mess but it never happens, and that is one of the reasons that the recordings sound so innovative even in today's revivalist climate.
The group probably came to most notice from the legendary "C86" NME tape with a few like minded collectives such as Stump, A Witness and the Mackenzies. These groups stood out against the twee pop cluster of the rest of the compilation and shared a common thread as they were all at one point or another on the fantastic Ron Johnson record label.
However, the flamers started 2 years before the '86 movement, releasing the "Sink" single. They declared that as a band there would not be a LP produced but instead concentrating on releasing only 3 song 7 inches, probably so the listener could ingest the short razor sharp funk they just heard. Statements & manifesto-like writings were included with the vinyl that were as wild as declaring to once be the backing musicians to Wham! that was actually taken seriously by some of the public.
After the breakup time pressed on and snippets of the Big Flame's existence popped up here and there such as Manic Street Preachers stating in 1991 that "The 80s, for us, was the biggest non-event ever, like C86. All we had was Big Flame. Big Flame was the most perfect band." 1996 rolled around and Drag City put out the whole catalogue onto the CD "Rigour" which sadly is out of print. Hopefully a re-release is in the future, or at least a commercial mp3 posting. But if you can find it for a decent price, make no hesitation. This kind of music can't be made honestly made again.