Big Heifer

That Lucid Feeling

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Post-punk is alive and well in Baltimore, if the great Plow and this great group are any indication. In fact, this two-male, one-female trio moved from Tennessee just to be part of the scene there. They're harsh but tight, with a nervous feeling pervading their chops. Having recorded and mixed 14 of these 17 songs in three days, that means they didn't have time for more than two or three takes of any particular song searching for the really hot version, but you would never know that from the music; if they are this together, they must be particularly good live. Sometimes they remind a little of the Wedding Present (or the busier Orange Juice on "Poor Old Soul"), only filtered through that way-heavier American rhythm section attack; in particular, Barbara's bass is often employed as a lead instrument (underneath choppy guitar), leading the group's discordant charge in the way Joy Division (who are mentioned in the lyrics of "Troll Boy"), Kitchens of Distinction, or Mission of Burma used to, and Sebadoh does now. Busy, intense, and hard-edged but clean, Big Heifer sounds like everyone and no one, and That Lucid Feeling is a sneaky punch.