Big Pacific- Welcome to the Party review

Big Pacific Welcome to the Party

Coming out of Vancouver Island, Pig Pacific is a group of rock ‘n’ roll vets who have performed around the world (in the case of drummer Nick Dokter, from South Africa to London’s PYE Studio and session work across Canada) with some notable names (keyboardist John Hannah has played with Tina Turner, Heart, and Bryan Adams—the last of which we won’t hold against him.) Roly Sandoval played in Calgary for much of his life, and bassist Wayne Veillet is the Nanaimo anchor of the band.

The band has focused their music on “life is a serious party that everyone has been invited to.” So don’t come to the Big Pacific party looking for a lot of introspection or navel gazing. They are about big guitar riffs (from Sandoval) and a good groove (Dokter and Veillet), with Hannah’s keys tying everything together.

Sandoval songs—“Bad Girl” (which borrows from Sam & Dave’s “I Thank You”) and “Lovin’ Arms”—are two of the stronger tracks, the latter buoyed by Hannah’s organ. Essentially, Big Pacific is a rock ‘n’ roll band with blues overtones, playing original music for the hell of it. And they do it quite well.

With a bit more studio slickness, Hannah’s “California Girl” could be a Loverboy b-side from 1987, and Sandoval’s “Blue Moon Blues” is a fine motoring song. “Here on the East Side” (co-written by Dokter, Hannah, and Veillet) is a gritty workingman’s rocker, and Sandoval’s “Hard Road” has an appealing yearnsome quality. The closing numbers, recorded ‘living room style,’ are most impressive; both from Sandoval, and stripped of excess, “As We Go” and “Here’s to Yesterday” are quite stellar.

Nothing fancy here from Big Pacific. Good songs. Good performances. This summer, that’s enough.

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