18 July 2015

Music Day - Darn Floor, Big Bite

Originally written January 2014.


I got Darn Floor - Big Bite for Christmas [2013]. I'm falling in love with this band all over again.

I've wanted this album for a while. As soon as you begin to integrate yourself into the DA fanbase, you hear nothing except how good this album is. Even the gorgeous Dig Here Said The Angel couldn't top it for a good cross-section of the fans.

The CD is available on their website, but due to the fact that I bought Dig Here three times (digital, CD, and vinyl) (the vinyl arrived the day before New Year's and HOLY DEUCE it is beautiful), plus the ¡Alarma! reissue, I had no money left for DFBB. I was okay with waiting, but until I did get the CD, I took a vow of Darn Floor celibacy.

See, when I first ordered the Vox Humana CD, I totally overdosed on Travelog, William Blake, and (It's The Eighties, So Where's Our) Rocket Packs on YouTube while waiting for it to arrive. When it finally did arrive, listening to it was sort of anticlimactic. Not because it's not a good album (I think I actually listen to Vox Humana the most, overall), but because I already knew what was coming. So I didn't want to ruin the album that so many called DA's masterpiece before I could actually listen to it all at once at my leisure (the same way I first got to experience the masterpiece that is Dig Here). So I didn't listen to any of the songs on YouTube, I didn't preview them on iTunes, I didn't read the lyrics on the Daniel Amos website. I wanted to know nothing about the album until I had it in my hands... whenever that might be.

Naturally, DFBB was at the top of my Christmas wish list (literally), and since I'm basically impossible to buy for, my family sticks pretty darn closely to that list. It wasn't too much of a surprise to unwrap that one. And there was much rejoicing (and answering of the question, "Darn Floor, Big Bite? What the heck kind of album title is that?").

I will restrain myself from fangirling over the entire album here (oh, but am I ever tempted...). Today I'll stick to one song -- the title track.

I have a question about this song: how was this not a monster hit? It is infectious, catchy, fun to listen to, catchy, deep, poetic, catchy, intense, and heck, it would even be a great karaoke song. Did I mention it's catchy? You can't not bop your head to this. Seriously, I'll listen to this once in the morning after breakfast and I'll be dancing to the darn thing all day long. It's great.

It starts out with an irresistible bass/drum rhythm. Baptists, turn away, for the beat menace has come to vex your soul. You will dance to this, whether you like it or not. (This is church-ese for 'This song grooves like a boss.') I love the swagger in Terry Taylor's vocal here, especially how it later gives way to questioning -- without losing the swagger.

I also like the lyrical structure of the song, especially that doubtful repetition of every third line of the verses: Do I know You now? Do I know You now?... Will You save me now? Will You save me now?... Could have been a dream; Could have been a dream...

The musical structure is amazing too. It starts with the bass groove and the drums, then for the pre-chorus, the rhythm changes into a rolling, warbling guitar line before stripping the sound back to drums and bass for the chorus. At the end, after the final chorus when Terry's repeating No I can't get it right... they start into a good old classic rock thing (complete with cymbals), then it concludes with a deep graceful bow.

Fantastic stuff. If you don't listen to anything else I feature on Music Day, listen to this one.

Title: Darn Floor - Big Bite
Artist: Daniel Amos
Album: Darn Floor - Big Bite
Year: 1987
Label: Frontline
iTunes here; YouTube here.
Buy the deluxe two-disc edition of the album directly from the band here. (You won't regret it, I promise.)

Also, for those not familiar with Daniel Amos lore: The 'darn floor - big bite' theme of both this song and the album came from the story of Koko the gorilla, who, when asked to describe an earthquake, signed 'Darn floor. Big bite.' Inspired by this story, Daniel Amos/Terry Scott Taylor spent the entire DFBB album exploring the analogy of humans in Koko's place, trying to describe God with mere [sign] language. The results are quite stunning. The poetic value (of the lyrics) alone is breath-taking.

You touch my hair and cheek sometimes
Feel in yourself this flesh and blood
My poor flesh and blood...
I think I met an angel once
But I can't really know for sure
Do I know you now
Do I know you now?

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