Single review: The Bayonets – Big Man Down

The Bayonets’ swansong comes in the form of the relatively downbeat Big Man Down. Sounding like something from a Spaghetti Western (with a 1920’s flapper/New Orleans-esque twist from the woodwind/horn section) this is the final tip of the brim of their hat before riding off towards the dusty horizon.

With it’s stark guitars and straight-as-a-die lyrics, you can imagine the hero, or the ‘Big Man’ riding into town, tying his horse up outside the local water hole and swinging the creaking saloon doors open as he cock-surely strides in. Indeed the eerie Hammond organ, drum pattern, tempo and general atmosphere are all not a million miles away from the theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Even Brian and Lucrecia’s vocals are drenched in a low-fi quality effect, almost giving the impression that the song was recorded in a bygone era and and played back on a gramophone.

A highlight of the track is the skillfully arranged woodwind/horn section, bringing a 1920’s twist to Big Man Down. Their cheeky interjections and a squeaky clarinet solo really shine through during a call-and-response section with Brian’s stinging electric slide guitar lines. They make a dixieland style New Orleans parade reappearance during the songs outro.

The lyrics are a dry and descriptive commentary telling the story of a heroes fall. Indeed some might say Big Man Down is allegorical to the USA’s strange state of affairs, with even Brian describing it as “a dustbowl/prohibition era torch tune about decline of a hero of a man…or perhaps, a country.”

Joining Brian, Oliver and Lucrecia are Scott Shriner on bass, Adam MacDougall on Hammond B3 and Vox Continental Keyboards and Larry Taylor (Canned Heat and Tom Waits) on upright bass. The brilliant horn section was arranged by Brian and consists of Darrell Leonard, Robert A. Martin and Joe Sublett, better known as the Texicali Horns.

Released on August 26th, only 2 weeks after single number 4 Whatcha Got (review here), this fifth (and final…for now) single is free to fans that have purchased any of the bundles offered for all 4 previous songs from www.thebayonets.com or www.brianray.com. Fans who HAVE bought a bundle for each of the previous songs can expect an email link to a free download of Big Man Down after the 26th!

But fear not – it will also be available to buy on its own! But ONLY from the above websites. Unlike every other Bayonets single, Big Man Down will NOT be available from iTunes, Amazon, or other stockists of fine digital music. However their smash hit debut single Sucker For Love and followup rockers Smartphone, Vagabond Soul feat. Steven Tyler and Whatcha Got are still available from all of these places!

And as with their official website you can also find out more about the band by visiting The Bayonets’ Wikipedia page.

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2 thoughts on “Single review: The Bayonets – Big Man Down

  1. Nikole says:

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  2. […] Big Man Down – Arguably the quietest, most downbeat song on the album, Big Man Down regales us with the story of a ‘big man’ (read into who the ‘big man’ is as you see fit) and his fall from grace. The intriguing storyline and dust-bowl Western delivery still makes the track interesting, a fact augmented by the New Orleans style horns section. (Full review of the single here) […]

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