By Barry Gilbert
Of the Post-Dispatch


January 27, 2005

Big Buildings
'Hang Together for All Time
Stars/No Stars

If you think two guitars, bass and drums are about all that's necessary for great rock 'n' roll, you might like Big Buildings -- especially if you agree that virtuoso chops, pitch-perfect vocals and clean engineering are, well, nice but not necessary.

Big Buildings is a four-man group of twentysomethings from Chicago whose first full-length CD is a lo-fi blast of energy that plays out over 18 tracks, a third of which are under two minutes long -- some under a minute.

They wail and bash, channeling Bo Diddley and the Rolling Stones ("We Are Steamships," "Streetlights"). They unplug and go near-country ("Big Dave," "Peaceful Man at Odds"). They split the difference, like the Kinks meeting Uncle Tupelo ("Skinny Women Shaking").

One track is a distorted, short rant ("I Will Own a Gunrack") followed by a song of relative sonic polish ("Trash Out"). Someone coughed during the intro to "Quiet Landmine"? So what! Leave it in!

"Hang Together for All Time" sometimes sounds like it won't hang together for the CD's 51 minutes, but that's part of its charm. It rocks, it's infectious, it's the sound of a band that loves to play and will try anything more than once. Its heroes are the Replacements and Neil Young, which explains a lot.

"Hang Together for All Time" is a lot of fun to listen to. And why not; it sounds like it was a lot of fun to make.

"Hang Together for All Time" is available on the Web from CD Baby ( Big Buildings is scheduled to perform at 10 p.m. Friday at the Way Out Club, 2525 South Jefferson Avenue (