HGR CD Review: The Big Time

THE BIG TIME – DREAMERS AND BELIEVERS (no label) Since forming in 2009, Altoona-based foursome The Big Time has evolved and honed their brand of energetic power pop/rock, along the way earning support slots with All Time Low, Mayday Parade, Hit The Lights and more. Their latest CD, Dreamers and Believers, captures the group’s explosive blend of punk-infused adrenaline and precision melodies. Erupting rhythms from drummer Aaron Porta and bassist Dylan Auerbeck fuel The Big Time’s hard-driving melodies; underscoring the guitar roar of Brandon Porta and frontman Derek Mrdjenovich. Most of the disc’s eight songs offer hard-hitting odes to the ins and outs of love; the beginning and ending tracks, “Take It to the Floor” and the title song “Dreamers and Believers” are more hopeful in tone, while “Done With It” and the milder “Sick and Tired” lean toward throwing in the towel. “The Drive” offers words of devotion, while “All for You” and “Hard to Get” grow weary of head games and relationship nonsense. The Big Time offers an acoustic update of “Stay Strong,” a somber tribute to a lost loved one. The songs are sharp and to the point, and the group’s melodies are catchy and concise. Mrdjenovich’s voice is strong and drives each song forward, and he effectively varies the intensity for the task at hand on each song. Paul Leavitt’s production and mix are busy, leaving no dead spaces or lulls in the action. The melodies are served, while the group’s edge is sharp throughout. The Big Time sounds tight and polished on Dreamers and Believers, and the group’s steady progress displayed here suggests that they may be ready for the big time in short order. (The CD can be obtained through the website www.thebigtime.bigcartel.com.)