Album Review: Big Eyes “Stake My Claim” Is Music For Cool Anarchists

Rock N’ Roll, at its core, is about throwing care to the wind and with it any moment you said “No” to yourself. In their third studio album, Stake My Claim, Big Eyes has created their most confident, articulate expression of Rock’s core. This album is their best and most forward summation of who they are as a band: cool anarchists. 
When you think anarchy, you think chaos, destruction, and people losing their minds. All three things that Big Eyes represents, in a way, that feels relatable and thus cool. In songs like Leave This Town, which is my favorite, and When You Were 25, the band goes straight for internal frustration. “What the FREAK Am I doing with my life?” is a question that Stake My Claim has used as it central theme. Inner doubts, confusion, boredom, angst, and an overall inability to define what you want from life are just a few of the sentiments this album scorches through. Hence, I find it so refreshing and an igniter of the little rebellions we all plan in our heads when we dream of walking away from our responsibilities and into our desires. So many human beings are going or have gone through periods of spiritual lostness; where you feel more like a ghost coasting by than a living person. Big Eyes writes music that exemplifies the constant struggle to feel like you are living your life to fullest and not surviving it the “best” way you can. Stake My Claim is the perfect record for those that want to see life as a blessing but feel it a burden.

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It may sound strange to call such a brazenly rock n’ roll album a fighter for blessings, but Stake My Claim feels as such. Lead singer Kait Eldridge has an inherent rasp that makes her vocals feel like a lush grate: for however pretty they may be, they will always carry a sense of woe and resilience. She has a voice made to revel and spread a sense of inner liberation. Absolutely every human being has said to him or herself, “I want to be free?”. But what is freedom to you, and what is holding you from it? These are questions that I have asked myself, which is why songs like, Count The Pegs and Curse of The Tides, appealed to me. When you give your heart to life or someone else and still are left incomplete, you have a hard time figuring out what is “off”, but know something is not “on”. Match that sentiment to a solid rock n’ roll album, and you have Stake My Claim.

Instrumentally, Stake My Claim feels like it came from a 70’s Greatest Hits of Rock album. I can picture myself driving around with Farrah Fawcett hair in a Black Chevy Impala and blasting this record Dazed And Confused style. It carries the aura of Rock’s heyday, but also a youthfulness that makes you feel like a twenty-something living in that era. Its rhythmic ability to transport Millennial youth to this different generation is what makes the album so charming. Moreover, I am convinced that Kait Eldridge stole Joan Jett’s voice. If a voice could have a spitting image than Eldridge would be Jett’s. Overall, I appreciate Big Eyes focus’ on the internal tension to be yourself and live your life without wondering if others will think your weird. While most albums focus on loving another, this album focuses on loving yourself.

Behind Your Eyes

I know I have made this album sound mushy or fluffy, but it is far from it. It is real, raw, and epically Rock N’ Roll. Drumrolls and guitar riffs are abound, but, more importantly, depth and heart can be found. For those that ponder, where or what happened to Music, as if she is a missing person. Well, she found a home in Stake My Claim. 

Favorite Tracks:

Leave This Town: a playfully fun track with heavy drums and a hypnotic guitar riff, this song was my favorite. Whom has not said a billion times to their self, ” I got to leave this house!”. For any teenager or Millennial living with their parent, this is your track lol!
Alls I Know: this may sound extremely cheesy, but I love this track because it reminds me of 90’s punk girls. It feels like the theme song that would play whenever the “rebel chick” from a 90’s movie would walk into a scene. Love It!
Just Not Right: this song has a bass strum that could put you in a trance, but it is its lyrics that captivate. When a relationship goes wrong it sucks…. plain and simple. Yet, it feels harder when you have wasted so much time and conversation telling your partner what you needed from them. Finally, a song that captures that extra detail!
When You Were 25: another track that dominates in lyrics. Trying to recall a time or age when you were fun and free may seem distant when your life is currently boring. Thankfully, this track is way more exciting than its sadly thematic truth. 
Cheerleader: next to Leave This Town, Cheerleader is also highly favored in my heart and ears. As Eldridge sings “Why can’t you spin my wheels?” I want to rock out and dance. Moreover, I am a sucker for a good drumroll.

Click Here for more information on Big Eyes, and buy their album Stake My Claim on August 19.