Best known in 2002, if they were known at all, for providing incidental music to several episodes of the television show Homicide: Life on the Street, Big Lazy is an instrumental trio that could only come from New York City. Influenced by the ambient jazz and dark rhythms the city conjures up, the combo is led by guitarist Stephen Ulrich, whose lonely, terse, reverbed leads sound like the menacing back alleys and threatening tunnels so common to life in the Big Apple. On their third album, the three-piece augments their stark, often ominous sound with occasional horns (used to striking effect on the opening "Train Travel"), percussion, and even eerie wordless vocals on "The Hill," but generally sticks to the bass-drums-guitar format. A romp through Charles Mingus' "Meditation (For a Pair of Wire Cutters)" pushes them even further outside the confines of a traditional three-piece, but the band is most comfortable walking the dimly lit side streets that inform the work of Tom Waits, especially on the evocative shadows created by the slow-boil tom-toms of "Our Lady of the Highways." The austere and ghostly black-and-white photos of the group that adorn the disc perfectly capture their offbeat atmosphere on this superbly played and conceived album. Few bands create music this dramatic, striking, and powerful, especially with only three instruments and no vocals. Creepy and captivating.
AllMusic Review by Hal Horowitz