Release Date: Apr 30, 2013
Record label: MRI
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Punk/New Wave, College Rock, New Wave
Fourteen years after their last album -- and 12 years after the death of their lead singer/songwriter Stuart Adamson -- Big Country reunited to record The Journey. Well, "reunion" may be a bit of a stretch, as the only original members to appear on The Journey are drummer Mark Brzezicki and guitarist Bruce Watson, who are joined by Watson's guitarist son Jamie, bassist Derek Forbes, and Mike Peters, former leader of the Alarm. Unsurprisingly, The Journey often recalls the widescreen vistas of the Alarm, sounding a bit more anthemic and forceful than Big Country, although there are certainly elements of classic BC here.
When 43-year-old Big Country singer-songwriter Stuart Adamson was tragically found hanged in a Honolulu hotel room on 16 December 2001 following a battle with alcoholism, the general consensus was that the band died with him. It is with great surprise then that The Journey, the first new Big Country material without their enigmatic leader, is upon us. Vocal and lyrical responsibilities are picked up by Mike Peters of The Alarm.
Only the most optimistic of diehard fans could have conceived of Big Country making a credible comeback over a decade after Stuart Adamson’s tragic death. Yet, with The Alarm’s Mike Peters taking centre-stage and Simple Minds bassist Derek Forbes adroitly subbing for Tony Butler, that’s just what these astutely reconstituted veterans have done with The Journey: their first new platter since 1999’s underrated Driving To Damascus. As befits a record made with a siege mentality, The Journey comes out fighting.