The Big Disappointments

by The Big Disappointments

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    Credits: Thalia Zedek (Come, Live Skull, Uzi, and The Thalia Zedek Band) co-produced the album. Mixed by Paul Kolderie at Camp Street. Paul has worked with Hole, Radiohead, the Pixies, and Dinosaur Jr. to name a few. Alex Hartman also assisted. Mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East.

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Eric Boomhower: vocals, guitar
Andy Abrahamson: guitar
Lisa Mullen: drums
Jon Littlefield: bass

Recorded By Kerm at Kissypig Allston MA.
Mixed by Paul Kolderie.
Co-produced by Thalia Zedek.
Mastered by Nick Zampiello.


released January 1, 2007

"You know : insolently sexy, not only are we thinking about Mark E. Smith, The Cramps, The Mad Daddys, Lady Scarface Lunch or Pussy Galore as incarnations with some dirt inside."
-Manuel Aubert a.k.a. Blackbird Merle Leonce Bone - trauma sound poet / cry(p)tical rock-purveyor

"The whole thing shines like a piece of gold found on a lonesome fog-bound trail somewhere in the West. Damn near perfect."
- Tim Emswiler - Sept. 2007

a review of our live performance at O'Brien's in Boston on 12-15-09 by Evan Rossi

Self-consciously I drop my foot forward, lean in towards the stage, and pull the other foot backward. My head arcs rear, loping with the second foot and it gets tossed back, roughly near the downbeat. Earplugs protect my mechanism from the damage rolling off the walls of O’Brien’s Tuesday Night; nothing protected my friend from having to witness my dancing.

But during an awkward toss to the side I saw her, and she was busy grinning, herself bobbing towards The Big Disappointments, and I lost my self-consciousness.

Consciousness is not paramount at their shows. Expectations fall. TBD. To Be Destroyed. Ego. Inhibitions. Pretense. Be Destroyed. Nobody deals this impressionistic nightmare slurry like them. There may be a band on the same bill that’s selling the same dream, but TBD are a modern haiku that reveals it’s truth amidst the noise of the evening, noise of their own instruments, and that noise proclaims all music to be a false drama. You stay, you see the future that rock will never have been. Stolen from the gods, or the humble carriers of the flame they stoked, Eric and company....

To hear about salvation, or transcendence, you listen to Rock. To achieve it you sit before The Big Disappointments. During their set you will begin to forget what you used to enjoy about music, musicians: terrible ineffectuals, typical sonic gauntlets, bands who prefer The Vamp, needles pinned to the red, notes scrambled in the strings of the Mustang that are somewhat legible, a toddler’s victory march. But no one cares.

Eric is less “proclaimer”, no Knight Exemplar: Eric needs you to testify. With your sweat, with your pulse, with your hoarse throat you do. To a large Sabbath that drudges through the bar, stampeding a decibel retardo. The clash of sacred and judicial. And with gnashing rock drums, Lisa wears a burdened look, “Thiiiisssss isss sooo damned harrrrdd!”. She slashes rhythm in a petulant melee with the kit in front of us all. It’s the truth. It is hard.

There’s a Rock Double-Think in existence. You know it well. Out you go, you see a band, and they move themselves in a burlesque of what looks good to you. They have moments that you would describe as being “rock” moments. You tell your friends–even that present-,and yourself, that you saw genuine Rock. You tell, you tell, you tell…..

But genuine rock is not measured by comparison, and cannot use capital letters, or quotes, or similes to describe it. It happens when Andy flanges his guitar for thirty seconds, and you begin spontaneously screaming. It happens when Jon sits alone on his bass, and fucks your gut with the pulse of the song. It’s not built, it’s grown.

Then it happens. And it becomes what the people not on the stage are doing, too. Like everything else good in the world, you fucking know it happened because you weigh less after it’s happened.



Feting Frank Black: A Dozen Bands Pay Tribute to the One-Time Bostonian Alt-Rock Star
May 16, 2009

The Pixies have been tributized by many? Why not the post-Pixies work of the Charlie Brown-like singer-guitarist Frank Black, who's done some pretty amazing lower-level work under the radar of the big pop machine? A slew of Boston bands, including The Big Disappointments (in photo), Audrey Ryan & Stephen Brodsky and Choo Choo La Rouge are at P.A.’s Lounge Saturday May 16 for "A Tribute to Frank Black!" (Truth be told, Pixies songs will be in the mix too.) It's a 5th Anniversary Benefit for the Nave Gallery - a developing non-profit organization working to establish and manage a multi-purpose arts and cultural center in Somerville. Bands will be performing all night on two stages. It starts at 9:15 with Rococo La Boy and moves on at 9:30 with Ryan Lee Crosby. What happens is each band plays 15 minutes on one stage, then the action shifts to the other stage and back again. Goes to til past midnight - The Big Disappointments, perhaps the best-known band on the bill, cap the night. Tickets: $8.

345 Somerville Ave, Somerville MA, 617-776-1557


a "meet the big disappointments" piece by Kerry Purcell in the Boston Herald.


Meet the Band: The Big Disappointments

The band: Eric “PiggBOy” Boomhower (voice, guitar, slide guitar), Lisa “Tisket” Mullen (drums), Jon “TallGuy” Littlefield (bass), Andy “The GamBler” Abrahamson (guitar)

The nicknames: Blame Tisket.

“Lisa is just really into nicknames,” said Boomhower. “But if you ask her where things come from, you don’t get a straight answer.”

The hometowns: The men in the Big Disappointments hail from north of Boston, while Mullen is from upstate New York.

“I guess we all came to Boston for the music scene,” Boomhower said. “And it’s close to New York. Boston seems to be a good place to get things together.”

The sound: Imagine the Stooges grasped by Interpol - the band, not the crime-fighting organization.

The story: Abrahamson and Boomhower played together in the In Out, and out they went to start their own band two years ago. They invited Mullen to an audition. Her friends in the band Choo Choo La Rouge, also good friends with Boomhower, warned her that the singer would test her.

“They told her, ‘He’s crazy. Don’t let him get to you,’ ” Boomhower said. “She was prepared for it when she showed up. She was this sarcastic little bastard. It was great.”

Littlefield was a bass novice when he was invited to join.

“We always talked about music together and he loved what I was putting together,” Boomhower said. “I wanted him to be involved, so we said, ‘Let’s mold this guy into a music player.’ It’s rock ’n’ roll. It’s not that difficult if you’re doing it right.”

The method: Working in Abrahamson’s basement studio at Roxbury’s Berwick Research Institute, a community of artists and performers, the band practices and records every bit of what it plays.

“I’m constantly playing,” Boomhower said. “I always have a tape player by my side. I could play a million things one day and whatever catches my ear the next day is a song. If I remember it the next day I’ll record it. It’s very organic and natural for Andy and me. I have about 200 tapes of just me playing guitar sitting in my closet.”

Of course not everything is a keeper.

“Lisa is the final straw,” Boomhower said. “If she doesn’t like it, we don’t play it. She’s brutally honest and she’ll say, ‘I’ll never play that in public.’ Because it is a rock band you have to have four people that enjoy playing every song. You have to be a unit because the live show is everything. That’s the way we approach it.”

The show: The Big Disappointments play tonight, with Helms, M.G. Lederman Band and Ba-Na-Nas, at the Middle East Upstairs.

The music: Listen to a new song, “Never at High Speeds,” and the fan favorite “Is She a He” at

a review from France roughly translated-

The Big Disappointments - s/t 2007 Hot Cave

It is well known, that trouble supports creativity. From Boston still emerges incredible groups and The Big Disappointments is one of those. This quartet has just signed an album really bluffant which draws with deepest musical roots ricaines, that is the delta blues, the swamp rock'n'roll and the white blues like with a certain sonic music. Right now traditional: I insist! Produced by Thalia Zedek (of Come still should it be pointed out?), this album éponyme makes one think irremediably of the group préci(pi)té for these feverish environments. Here, returned is more immediate. The titles are shorter, almost not waste, that is listened of a draft. The group aligns the tubes in a disconcerting way. Incredible! The large strong point is the voice... Ah THIS VOICE! Classieuse, nervous, cynical and envoûtante. The dude which sings (and which plays of scrapes) controls its subject with wonder. I will repeat myself but one is in the presence of a very great group. To pass to the side would be a terrible error, that it is said! (9.5/10) - Nicko (2007)


a review from the UK -

'The Big Disappointments'
Hot Cave Records

Booze spilling, rockabilly influenced, smutty dirt rock that reeks of 1980s class. The Big Disappointments are quite the opposite.

These boys and one girl, fashioned out of Boston bands The In Out and The Non-Famous, really do like their 1980's punk influences. Joining the dots in between the raw barbed wire delivery of The Gun Club and the sumptuous melodies of The Replacements, circa Let It Be, they have dispatched an album of bass soaked recordings, echoing fuzzy guitar and post-punk scrawling that all sound like they've been recorded in a tunnel with the pressure of oncoming bullet train.

Take for instance the arse slapping bass juggernaut on Dance Track Budokan that drives lo-fi opposing serrated guitars, and Eric Boomhower's scathing vocal, like a F1 car race around a moonlit M25. Or the high speed electric bread knife riffs and raging solos that set fire during Like To Know. These guys really have studied the book that Jeffery Lee Pierce (Gun Club) never wrote, and a fine book it would have been each page stained with the claret of experience.

This is not the refined sound of a band of young whipper snappy chaps. These boys have graduated from the early learnings of other bands and know exactly the sound they are tracking. If there were to be any complaints to be handed out they would be sent to the office of lack of variety. There are 15 songs here and only two noticeable styles - fast as fuck and slow like Mark E Smith's slurred sentences, but there are a lot worse things that could mount an assault on your hearing for just over 45 minutes.

By: David Samuel (Nov. 2007)

a review from Performer Mag

The Big Disappointments —The Big Disappointments
Produced by Thalia Zedek
Mixed by Paul Kolderie and Alex Hartman
Recorded by KRM at Kissypig, Allston, MA
Mastered by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East

The Big Disappointments specialize in breakneck, country-tinged post-punk. Their self-titled debut has a couple of mid-tempo tracks, but these guys sure as hell aren’t going to try and sneak a ballad past you. Opener “Only Here Only Now” slaps you with a stock blues riff accelerated to whiplash speeds, giving you just less than enough time to acclimate yourself before the vehicle lurches forward as the rhythm section enters, drums thundering along like a jitterbugging giant.

Production wise, the record sounds fantastic. It ought to —the record was mixed by Paul Kolderie, a name associated with The Pixies, Radiohead, and Dinosaur Jr., among other alt-rock heavyweights. While the vocals may be mixed a bit low for pop-accustomed ears, the mix is clear from start to finish, letting each instrument shine in its own niche amongst the group’s chugging dissonance. The guitars are angular and cutting, but with balanced amounts of scrappiness and balls. The bass churns and bounces along with the aforementioned gargantuan drums. For a perfect example of all this in action, see track five, “A Warhead.” It’s one of the less frantic numbers, with tightly spaced, nicely fuzzed call-and-response guitar work over a heavily grinding foundation reminiscent of when Black Rebel Motor Cycle Club were at their gloom-rock peak.

The semi-discernable vocals rant and moan somewhere between the bass and the guitars. On much of the record, singer Eric Boomhower sounds a lot like a snottier Black Francis in his phrasing and delivery. There is also a nasal, melodramatic flair reminiscent of Jack White on the first couple of White Stripes records, before all the mandolins and bad mustaches. This likeness becomes especially apparent on bluesier numbers like “An Absolute Farmer.”

While the band is insistently straightforward in their general approach to riff-layering and arrangements, they are good enough at what they do, bringing enough conviction, inventive structure and dynamics to make this a compelling listen from beginning to end.

(Hot Cave)

-Jon Carter (Oct. 2007)


a review from the UK

The Big Disappointments - S/T (Hot Cave)
There’s no shortage of reference points throughout The Big Disappointment’s debut release on Hot Cave Records, and they’re all of them highly creditable. Fifteen short sharp stabs ripple with familiar sounds invoking The Cramps, The Only Ones, The Cure, The Fall, Green on Red, John Spencer – they’re all in there somewhere and they’re all paying their way. There’s a pleasing spine-tingling edginess about this collection, induced by a sense of Jon Littlefield and Lisa Mullen’s pounding rhythm section being slashed to ribbons by the jagged twin guitars of Eric Boomhower and Andy Abrahamson, the latter duo being ex-members of Boston post-punk outfit The In Out. Tipped off by spooky stark and distant vocals the four piece span the finest of styles from psychobilly and garage to warped blues with a commendable ambition and clear conviction.
Neil B. (Sept. 2007)


a review from France roughly translated

"St" - CD
Hot Cave 2007

They are of Boston. It is their first album, co-produced by Thalia Zedek. They cultivate the art of nonthe look following the example of Feelies or of Television and they succeed where the majority of the groups of No wave failed. While Mars, DNA and consorts in vain échinaient themselves to erase the black origins of the rockn' roll, The Big Disappointments irradiates a white noise éffluves Delta. This disc is brilliant, étincelant and daring. 15 titles métissés by a bayou under splinters. Imagine Sonic Youth at the dawn of their career beginning again of Bo Diddley and you will have a rather precise vision of this album éponyme. The Lomax catalogue annotated by The Fall. The music of Big Disappointments is iniquitous, single and diablement irresistible. The traditional ones of tomorrow listen to aujourdh' ui "An Absolute Farmer", "Like to Know"... Férocement American, this formation delivers a lesson of opening, musical, melody and sensory. Even Larsen comes from the bayou. They very included/understood. This quartet signed a strong, powerful work and déhanchée.2 anecdotic titles gives a human face to a feverish recording. The presence of Thalia Zedek is not alleviating since the last recordings of Live Skull started to reveal accents bluesy. The way was perhaps traced, still had it to be borrowed. One Very Very Large Disc...

Don Lurie (Sept. 2007)


a review from Boston zine The Noise

Hot Cave Records
The Big Disappointments
15-song CD

Screw any attempts at rock-crit hipness here—this is just fucking excellent. The hard part, however, is painting an accurate picture of the music, which reminds me of many bands, but not enough to actually name one. It’s a pretty stripped down sound that manages to be lush when it needs to be, it travels effortlessly from the haunted, medicated country of “Deathbed Country” to the desperate straight-ahead drive of “Like to Know” to the swampy “Crop Diamond Everglade,” but all while sounding like one band with one coherent musical vision. Eric Boomhower’s vocals are all miked in that sort of “distant radio station” style, which works perfectly without seeming like a gimmick, and the rest of the band demonstrates a focus on the requisites of the song, egos well in hand. Produced by the band and Thalia Zedek, mixed by Paul Kolderie and mastered by Nick Zampiello, this comes with some serious pedigree, and the whole thing shines like a piece of gold found on a lonesome fog-bound trail somewhere in the West. Damn near perfect. (Tim Emswiler - Sept. 2007)


a review from Delusions Of Adequacy

Listening to The Big Disappointments' recent, self-titled release takes you back to the Los Angeles scene of the early 80s, where Green on Red and Dream Syndicate mixed blues, punk, and garage into a cocktail of angst and deliverance. This Boston 4-piece churns out its music with a little more emphasis on punk and less on psychedelia, but it doesn't take any measures to hide its lineage.
Boston and the Atlantic states have had their own share of bands working this territory - the Lyres being perhaps the most entrenched - and the labels Taang and even Metal Blade put out some solid examples. Then there's also the band Come, who brought a little bit of experimentation with the sound. It's fitting in fact that Come's Thalia Zedek helped produce The Big Disappointments.

Sometimes veering into psychobilly and swamp rock ("So Unlike You" and "Crop Diamond Everglade," for crying out loud), sometimes doing punk rave-ups ("Like To Know," "Money Makers"), but for the most part staying close to blues and garage, this album comes off as something of a retread. "Like To Know" sounds like The Last with a hangover. "Too Much Intake" would fit well with anything by Jon Spencer.

Loud guitars, blues scales, basic drumming, workmanlike bass playing: its all fairly ordinary and familiar. The consistent echo on the vocals borrows from early garage bands from the 60s and The Cramps. But perhaps the band's sound can best be summarized as a cross between The Wipers and TSOL. You've heard this before, yes, but if you liked it then you might be excited to add another update to your library with this one. If you're looking to expand your horizons, though, you'll need to look elsewhere.

by David Smith, 8/15/07


a review from Heet Stof in the Netherlands

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Absolute No Disappointment

I think garage rock is one of the few true successors of the rock 'n roll like it has originated in the fifties. Short, raw songs played by a lead guitarist, a rhythm guitarist, a bass player and a drummer. There have been numerous garage rock bands in the fifty years since rock 'n roll was born, but I don't think that there are more than half a dozen bands who were successful with a large audience. Some of the better known bands are 13th Floor Elevators, the Stooges, Gun Club, the Fall, the White Stripes and the most famous of them all: the Ramones. Each year some new promising bands emerge and every time it's a suprise if they become kwown outside their own city. If it's up to me The Big Disappointments definitely deserve a larger public.
The band is from Boston and consists of Eric Boomhower (vocals and guitar), Lisa Mullen (drums), Jon 'Tall Guy' Littlefield (bass) and Andy Abrahamson (guitar). In 1999 Eric performed once under the name The Big Disappointments as a joke and only last year he picked up that name for his new band. They are obviously a live band and maybe that's the reason why they record every show. That's why it's also evident why they debuted with a self-burned live CD last year. Their first, real and selftitled studio album is also recorded live in the studio. There are 15 tracks on this CD and it lasts just 39 minutes, like it is supposed to. This album by The Big Disappointments (which they're certainly not) is produced by indie heroine Thalia Zedek, also from Boston. Just enjoy "Dance Track Budokan", "Crop Diamond Everglade", "An Absolute Farmer" and "Like To Know"!

posted by Heet Stof @ 4:32 PM Limburg, Netherlands


a review from Patrick Masterson,
former music director and DJ at WUSC-FM Columbia. from


The Big Disappointments - The Big Disappointments / Hot Cave Records (2007)

This review comes to you from the not-too-distant past where the Stars n' Stripes are still adorned on every lawn of every neighborhood in the great United States and "everyone" is celebrating Independence Day with fireworks, hamburgers and not a little alcohol to make things more interesting.

Even more critical than that is the music. Beyond Francis Scott Key, what could be more American than Toby Keith, Phil Spector or, uh, jazz? Garage-rock. It almost seems silly to explain where the style originated given its name, but one of the earliest sub-genres in rock n' roll's history evolved in the early 60s with bands like The Wailers who were literally playing out of their suburban garages. DIY before DIY was DIY, these groups eventually made way for better production techniques in the late 60s and early 70s, but with everything old being new again all the time, garage-rock has had its resurgence.

Crossbreed a little of that with the spirit of psychobilly and punk and you've discovered the secret to the all-American formula Boston's The Big Disappointments employ on their self-titled sophomore album and first official recording (Live at Studio Eight has preceded this). There's nothing more American than two guitarists, one a singer and lead and the other a rhythm player, a bassist, and a drummer. The perfect band formula, just don't tell ...Trail of Dead or I'm From Barcelona. These upstarts aren't actually upstarts at all; Eric Boomhower (possibly one of the most awesome names in rock) and Andy Abrahamson were members of The In Out and this whole Big Disappointments thing was supposed to be a joke back in 1999. Eight years on, they're serious: In a mere 39 minutes, the group rifles through 15 songs and leaves little doubt that they've joined this latest wave of new groups with a slightly destructive garage-rock style.

It's interesting to note that the aforementioned styles that are all over songs like the blazing opener "Only Here Only Now" and the stomping "An Absolute Farmer," post-punk also intrudes on tracks like the rhythm-driven "Dance Track Budokan" and "Chemicals." Lisa Mullen's drumming is sturdy on this release and one of the main reasons it succeeds so well so often, the backbone of virtually every song reeling in the metallic-sounding guitars and subtle bass that rarely dominates. Rather, it quietly leads the guitars down corridors and through back alleyways as on "The Hunted Whale" or "The Ugly Man."

You can hear a lot of Philly's Burning Brides in this release to cite a recent contemporary, but The Big Disappointments are more than just a comparison. They're more than just a thankfully ironic bandname. They are a reflection of America on its proudest day: Sloppy, reckless, guiltless and free with just a touch of gravitas saved for the fireworks. Pass those burgers this way. Yessir, I think I'll have another.

Posted by pmmasterson at 8:40 PM


p.a.'s lounge with a few words:

We at P.A.'s would like to state unequivocally that we feel quite vindicated as we watch 'The Big Disappointments' mature into a Great Band as well as a group of 'Space Pirates' or whatever you want to call yourselves... We wouldn't want to be as un-classy as to say 'We Told You So', but the facts are clear. P.A.'s is the fifth member of the Big Disappointments. You'll Need a bigger tour bus. XOXO, -P.A.'s

the legendary Jim Sullivan wrote a piece about us in the boston phoenix:

Boston music news: June 29, 2007
Notes on the Big Disappointments
June 25, 2007 1:55:49 PM

Call your band THE BIG DISAPPOINTMENTS and you win both ways: if you suck, it’s truth in billing; if you don’t, it’s just a clever bit of irony. Eric Boomhower, who used to drum for the IN OUT, played under the Big Disappointments name as a joke back in 1999, then abandoned it. He picked it up again last year when, as a singer-songwriter, he made the switch to fronting a new version of the band with In Out bassist Andy Abrahamson aboard on guitar: “I reused the name because everybody liked it.” One person who especially liked what bassist Jon Littlefield calls their “swamp rock” was THALIA ZEDEK: the former Come/Uzi singer/guitarist was their co-producer on their homonymous debut. “We like that jagged, angular, aggressive-but-melodic sound,” says Boomhower. The Big Disappointments, who have now been a fully functioning foursome for a year, celebrate the release of the CD with a show at P.A.’s Lounge in Somerville on June 29 with the Leftovers, the Octave Museum, and the Gondoliers.


the text below was written by Blackbird Merle Leonce Bone - a trauma sound poet cry(p)tical swamp writer from Paris, France. he loves us and we love him.

Telegraph – Sam


Manuel Aubert a.k.a. BlackBird Merle Leonce Bone

We were no longer expecting them. It blowed my mind away. To the point of getting hammered til the beginning of dawn. Red wine + Beers + Gin + whisky. The Big Disappointments.

You know : when the feeling of urge is mixed with relaxation. When relaxation is flirting with danger to be or not to be alive. And when it mingles with our senses.

Terribly urban when it deals with quintesence. From now on we will not only think about Basquiat, Coltrane or Warhol.

We’ll have to do with it. They teased me with their fucking sublime smell, filthy. « let’s GO Go to the Go-Go’s !! » From now on. Because they play like no one harmolodic rough. Don’t tell Grand Pa. There is no word getting out from the conch, leathal gliding slope, death of the Hype in its full ascent.

Let’s try to imagine that the sea could be the same everywhere.

Spread the buzzing word by all means, yell the rumor until death : Boston is the center of the World !! Boston is the center of the Earth and the supply of mineral water will definitely pass through the vicious umbilical cords, scary and marvellous strings belonging to Misters Boomhower and Abrahamson ‘s guitars.
Let’s imagine that all the trees share the same roots.

You know : insolently sexy, not only are we thinking about Mark E. Smith, The Cramps, The Mad Daddys, Lady Scarface Lunch or Pussy Galore as incarnations with some dirt inside.

And then again, it’s much better that way since Boston is the center of the Earth, Lisa Mullen’s sticks rise in the sky while she keeps on battling with those skin boxes, her marvellous arms as lianas. Heavy sounds, Stubborn rythms and tribal sounds, powerly and elegantly pounded, while in the same time, nonchalantly, Brother John Littlefield, traces his own bass lines disguised under the swamp ‘nouvelle vague’ perfume, in the East ninjas caligraphers way.

Transform yourself into some shadow words, some pieces of rumors for some varanus agnostic preachers. Just yell the rest of your bloody stumps but don’t tell it to the grandfather
who is the only shamefull one who doesn’t know it. Who doesn’t know that the Big Disappointment exits. Some jubilantly symphony, deadly, mocking and glamourous, that they throw on the waves during the Office, dislocating the contemporary bodies in a destroyed transcending dance, like possession. And not only think about Steve McQueen, John Lurie, James Dean or Buster Keaton ‘pour la géniale nonchalance’. To the point of getting hammered til dawn.

Let’s imagine our roads and sidewalks ripped open, drilled by force through the tarmac.

Do not wake up the Old Man. Through his skeletton’siesta, his body lays straight on the line separating Tijuana from some numerous no man’s land. He has already sent his daughter to the Fiesta de la Muerte, dressed suggestively to tantalize the recalcitrants. You can count on our guys and girls to blacken his rotten aureole with some flights of twang, some blasts of epileptic stomp, programmed ending under some definitive convulsions. Once again: swamp.
This is high flying popular art, embroided by hand.

Let’s imagine all this very strongly with application and strengh. Until the floor is filled with some humps made out of our dark souls. Until, us, passers-by changed into some relaxed dancers, possessed, swinging, twist and shoot, between the tumulus of the bodies, the fallow heaps, the sculpted-insects-skulls divided between the ‘sépia’ and the stridency-scream, the frozen depravity swing with some lipstick marks, strings and net stockings, ecstatic tibetean stupra, you know : the Big Disappointments.

It’s not just only a fucking hip but a furious and rushing buzz. Each sedentary person becomes a nomad of its own sediment. Each refugee becomes a sexy wall-drawing counterculture by becoming a local in its own exile. Each migrant, ashkenaze, Portorican, Cantonese has its own inner light within their hearts and on their walk-boat-man, « An absolute Farmer » booming, roaring, hymnic ‘en le dedans’.

Then, the passers-by on the streets gets electrified by those candid genius mercenaries from Boston, to travel, wander and waddle. And The Subtra-Ville- Maeström do no longer exits, ‘en-train-de-se-faire’, there are only some modulated dormitories for ectoplasmic arses, Ghost-Town : let’s be aware.

Some rare golden pearls are stuck on the holes from the sieve, they fell out from those stuffed garbage trucks. Holy crop, fucking harvest, I can tell you that it has blown my mind away and it’s going to last a while, at least until we ask for more, the Poney-Express ? The Singing Thread ? The Telegraph-Sam ? No dude, from now on: the Big Disappointments.

Tours, le lundi 9 avril 2007,

Manuel Aubert a.k.a. BlackBird Merle LeonCe BonE.

an interview feature from the boston phoenix:

Gratifying Disappointments

Tall Guy is in a (really good) band!



The soul-bellowing body blast almost makes you forget that their bassist is the most famous spectator in Boston live music.

The Big Disappointments are an important local band for two reasons. One, they kill live, with a gut-quaking locomotive rumble of psych-rock riffs and rockabilly-voodoo beats. Two, their bassist is arguably the most famous spectator in the last decade of Boston live music. His government name is Jon Littlefield, but you probably know him as Tall Guy. Or Tall Jon. Or The Guy Who Goes to Every Show.

Don’t know who I mean? Yes, you do: at six-foot-seven, he cuts an unmistakable figure — Where’s Waldo reinvented to star a laconic art-rock/noise über-fan with Nick Cave’s cheekbones and Thurston Moore’s gaunt loftiness. He’s the scally-capped shape with the PJ Harvey T-shirt whose omnipresence is immortalized in Nick Zinner’s I Hope You Are All Happy Now, a softcover book of photos that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist shot from the stage. Further evidence that I’m not overstating Littlefield’s ubiquity: when the Big Disappointments played P.A.’s Lounge in early August (they’ll be there again this Friday), a dark-haired man who later introduced himself as Francis walked into the venue’s rec-room performance area, spotted Littlefield thrumming the bass, and excitedly whispered to a friend, “Holy shit! Tall Guy’s in a band!” Then he high-fived his buddy.

“We all know that we’ve all seen Jon at every show,” confirms TBD frontman/guitarist Eric Boomhower with a slightly bored sigh. “We weren’t seeking to have Jon in this band because he’s ‘Tall Jon.’ That’s not what this band is about.”

And it isn’t, even though Littlefield’s presence might be something of a selling point. Rather, the Big Disappointments are the sum of their four parts: a hurly-burly engine of desert-menace guitars, underlying bass trellis, and psychobilly stomp. They’re physically unassuming (aside from Tall Jon), with no visual agenda: two guitarists in plain T-shirts and jeans (Boomhower and Andy Abrahamson, both formerly of the In Out) and a cute, petite girl tucked behind the drum kit. But once Lisa Mullen (who happily tells me she likes playing music with guys because “I was once a boy!”) starts banging out that pomade swing, you’re confronted by a soul-bellowing body blast that makes you forget the beer you just bought or the stranger you just met or the taxi your ignorant ass just called. Instead you think about strung-out drifters speeding along cactus-lined highways, truck-stop death-panic scenes, the Gun Club, Lux Interior and his leather pants.

You can project any images you like onto the Big Disappointments’ songs because Boomhower’s words are nearly indecipherable live. The slapback delay he uses gives his delivery a trippy echo-chamber quality of muted consonants and swollen vowels. “I got that from old rough blues recordings and certain Joy Division songs, really old music,” he explains as the five of us down beers at P.A.’s. “Plus, it also makes the vocals sound more like a melodic instrument.”

In truth, Boomhower, chief songwriter and band architect, is singing about his political disillusionment. “The songs are touching upon things in this world that I have a problem with, that I’m trying to deal with and come to terms with. If I don’t write about them, it’ll drive me fuckin’ crazy. I call it [the genre] ‘poelitical.’ ” The Big Disappointments as a proper name aren’t the four band mates reveling in their loser status; the Big Disappointments refer to what Boomhower views as life’s cruel realities, the failures of the modern era. The four-minute-plus rallying cry “A Warhead” is littered with metaphorical phrases like the “foreign exchange,” “coming infestation,” and “a suicide contest.” Boomhower says, “You can say it’s poetry or you can say it’s political rubbish; it doesn’t matter to me.”

People know TBD as a live band, but they have recorded nearly everything since their first show last April — every rehearsal, every song. At the end of the month, they’ll head into the studio with Thalia Zedek, who’s roommates with Boomhower. “She’s offered to produce our record. Which is like having one of your greatest influences involved personally in your music.”

Until then, their total output is both posted on-line and released on a homeburned CD Live at Studio-Eight 2006. Scanning titles like “The Hunted Whale” and “Deathbed Country,” you’d expect the gear-grinding opener, “Chemicals,” to be about nuclear war. Nope, says Boomhower, it’s a love song. “It’s basically saying, ‘This is how I feel about this person, this is what attracts me to this person, it’s their chemicals coming off.’ ”

It seems he’s never discussed these lyrics (“Seems like I keep my face beneath/Your winter coat where I can breathe/Seems like I need your chemicals”) with the rest of the band. He wonders who else knew this was a love ballad.

Abrahamson nods.

“It’s so obvious, my God,” says Littlefield. “It’s all about smells.”

Then Mullen peeps, “Chemicals is why I’m a lady now!” Everyone at the table cracks up.

If Littlefield is the face of TBD and Boomhower is the legs, then Mullen is the laugh. (Abrahamson didn’t talk enough for me to assign him a body part.) She has the tiniest voice I’ve ever heard come out of a human, and most of her comments are absurdly comical non sequiturs.

“If you have too much testosterone in a band, you’re going to end up sounding like Metallica,” says Boomhower about playing beside Mullen. “And that’s not what we want.”

“Besides,” Mullen says, smacking Littlefield’s arm in a Red Stripe epiphany, “The audience likes seeing the tallest person in Boston and the smallest person in Boston on stage together!”

THE BIG DISAPPOINTMENTS + THROTTLE + THUNDERHOLE | P.A.’s Lounge, 345 Somerville Ave, Somerville | October 13 | 617.776.1557

a review from boston zine the noise.

Live at Studio-Eight
9-song CD
It’s obvious that Eric Boomhower (guitar, vocals) and Andy Abrahamson (guitar) have done time in Boston’s most underrated underground band—The In Out. There’s a similar uneasy feeling in the songwriting. Nagging, metallic guitars circle each other like wrestling opponents (think Gun Club, Birthday Party et al), stop starting, then tripped up by cryptic, annoyed lyrics. I like the lazy shuffle of “Is She a He”, the psychobilly stomp of “Only Here Only Now”, and the shift to double time drums and descending guitar part of “The Hunted Whale”. “Tall Jon” Littlefield (that early John Cale-looking dude you see at every rock show) plays bass, while Lisa Mullen's propulsive drumming is like a shot of adrenaline—relentless yet on point. The Big Disappointments come on strong and then linger like a mean hangover. Even The Weekly Dig likes them, and they rarely like anything. (Laura Markley)


tags: rock Boston


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The Big Disappointments Boston, Massachusetts

Eric Boomhower - vocals, guitar
Andy Abrahamson - guitar
Lisa Mullen - drums
Jon Littlefield - bass

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