Big Donut returned to the Flint music scene with their second album, Big Donut Goes to Smell in January of 2016. Sonically, this disc resembled their debut record, however, the band took a different approach. While writing and creating the songs, they went with the flow. The band allowed the music to shape itself. And naturally, Big Donut crafted a fun garage rock album.
Before listening to this record, I spoke with someone close to the band. I wanted to gather background information on the album, so I could understand it as a whole. During our conversation he told me the record is a concept album of sorts. The lyrics fall into two categories: songs about hell and songs about smells. His description holds up well. Big Donut made a concept album, of sorts.
Most of the tracks on this album are similar to the ones found on Big Donut’s debut album, Mr. Grizzly Cream. They are firmly rooted in the rock family. Some songs are softer, and others are toned with a garage rock tinge. Overall, their sound remains enjoyable and very easy to listen to. This means their music is very accessible, even to individuals who don’t enjoy elements found in heavier rock.
I feel this is one of the strengths of Big Donut. Their music isn’t laced with obscenities or heavy breakdowns. Its simple rock ‘n’ roll. They channel notions found in older, classic rock groups, such as The Doors and The Eagles. Big Donut doesn’t copy these bands outright, rather they capture the feeling and atmosphere of classic rock, while spinning it through a filter that only Big Donut could produce.
Songs for Investigation
From a musical perspective, “Cotton Candy Francis” is a delightfully complex tune. It’s also their longest to date, measuring just over ten minutes. Specifically, this track will be appealing to fans of longer songs that are mostly instrumental.
The second tune on the record, “Demon Sea Man Blues” is an instrumental track. The guitar player seized this opportunity to shred for nearly a minute straight, showing off his abilities and dazzling the listener.
The closing track, “Underwearld” is also interesting. Both the lyrics and music cast a curious glow onto the end of the record. This tune was written by another local musician who is listed as StabbittyStabbittyStabStabStab, according to Big Donut’s Bandcamp. This individual passed away a few years ago and Big Donut recorded the song as a tribute.
You can listen to Big Donut Goes to Smell in its entirety (for free!) here, on their Bandcamp page. Of course, you can always find them on Spotify if you are intrigued by their music.