Lexington, Kentucky, collective Big Fresh is a sprawling mass of 10 musicians and countless wild pop experiences. Home to two members of The Apples in Stereo, Big Fresh shares the same kind of skewed pop influences as that band but finds an insular brew of manic inspirations to bury itself within. Working through a series of breezy ’60s harmonies and intricate layers of sound to reveal a tendency for devious pop vivisection, they prove why they’ve become such an institution among the bands in their hometown and a whirling pop force for anyone else who happens to come across their work. The band is set to release “Fall Preview,” their first record since 2011’s “Moneychasers,” tomorrow, and it’s the first in a series of two EPs planned for 2017.
On their latest single, “Like Swayze,” the band (along with Lexington-based hip-hop and soul singer Michelle Hollis) attempts to express the complete awesomeness of actor Patrick Swayze. Bathed in a cosmic AM rock luminescence, the track uses the formidable voice of Hollis to deliver its message of all things Swayze. It’s full of tumbling melodies and curious arrangements that heighten the lyrical themes past the point of righteous absurdity into the realm of unbridled genius. Bolstered by its kitchen sink approach, the song expels a collection of warped radio signals, staticky patterns and colliding percussive movements.
It would be easy to dismiss this song as simply a goofy ode, but there’s something almost maniacal about its tenacity. This is no joke, and the band seems to thrive on our collective confusion. “Like Swayze” is a startlingly original and complex musical statement about the power of pop culture to influence every aspect of our lives-and to evoke powerful feelings that scuttle around in our heads for years. Eclectic and strange, the track successfully gets us to invest ourselves in this complicated amalgam of weird cinematic associations and psych-pop eruptions.
Band leader John Ferguson said:
“Like Swayze” is a track that started out as an instrumental slow jam and morphed into an outlet for my obsession with Patrick Swayze’s films. From “Point Break” to “The Outsiders,” from “Dirty Dancing” to “Road House,” Patrick Swayze is, for me, the ultimate action star. He’s not like Arnold, Sly or Bruce Willis in his ability to kick ass until the room is cleared. Instead, Patrick uses his mind, his emotional draw, his connection to people and to the earth to overcome adversity. Patrick is the thinking man’s action star. He’s not afraid to own the dance floor with the hottest women in the room or to rip a motherf&%#er’s throat out. Our song “Like Swayze” is an homage to the vulnerability and strength presented in the collected works of Patrick Swayze.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.