The music of Big Wedge can't really be classified as progressive, but it will likely appeal to every progressive-rock fan who deep down simply longs to hear good music. On Minutiae, Big Wedge's self-released follow-up to its Onset EP, this solid New York City-based quintet dips into rock, pop, jazz and country without losing any of its refreshing edge or compromising its musical integrity. And I'm not just saying that because Big Wedge includes Sea of Tranquility's own Steve Fleck on guitars and background vocals.
Opening with "Land of the Free," a catchy rock ditty that sounds like it originated from the heartland, Minutiae then launches into a driving rocker called "Modern Technology," which explores the sheer amount of technology that bombards today's young people: "Email, voicemail/Electronic bangtrail/CDs DVDs/TVs in SUVs/Cell phone, flat screen/Interactive porn scene/Laptop, work from home/Disease-free baby clone." Meanwhile, "7:08" could be a hit on Triple A (Adult Album Alternative) radio stations, and "Meet Your Match" sounds so much like early- to mid-period Chicago you could fool your friends. "Pick One" grooves on a rockabilly vibe, and "Faces of the Storm" is ideal for highway driving. There are even two intriguing and moody instrumentals. About the only stinker of the 11 tracks here is "Dymond City," which simply sounds too derivative of classic Seventies rock when placed in the context of these other fine tunes.
Big Wedge boasts seasoned musicians who did time in many Big Apple bands, and latest addition Breeze sings in a friendly voice that suits this material well -- although the band's web site indicates Big Wedge is currently looking for a new vocalist. Regardless, I'm digging this record, whose title is clearly a misnomer.
Well done, gentlemen.