Big Business Credit: Cari Veach

Los Angeles-based sludge outfit Big Business have taken a lot of forms over their 15 years of existence. Started in Seattle as the dirgey metal duo of Karp bassist Jared Warren and Murder City Devils drummer Coady Willis, Big Business eventually started inviting the occasional guitarist into the mix to beef up their already beefy sound—at one point they even added two, transforming into a full-on four-piece doom band. Beginning in 2006, Warren and Willis also held down the prestigious title of “Melvins Rhythm Section” during the decade-long run of that venerable band’s double-drummer lineup. Over the past few years, Big Business have returned to their roots: they’re no longer in the Melvins (who now frequently use a two-bassist lineup instead), and they’ve dropped the guitar players to focus on the stripped-down punishment that made their early records so great. On this summer’s appropriately titled The Beast You Are (Joyful Noise), Warren and Willis hammer out simplistic but over-the-top epics that borrow power metal’s catchy melodic sense and stoner metal’s subterranean throb—and their back-to-basics bass-and-drums approach burns away all the excess fat.   v