The album kicks off with the trippy, sort of Portishead-influenced “Terminal Seat.” The beats/synth sound is out there in a cool way of course. On first listen, it may sound a bit like Moby, but the instrumental track is a good segue way into the sound of the remaining nine tracks.
“Dead Channel” has a similar tone as the first track, in the Portishead manner. The beat has a complex layer that blends keys, starry nights and echoey vocals. Rubinstein’s vocals add an extra dimension to the track that makes this trip-hop tune have a relaxing, yet deep feel to it. The title could be referring to many things, such as a relationship, drowning in a body of water as demonstrated by the repeated lyrics of “Say Never.” As a big fan of experimental synths, this tune is pretty cool.
More vocals arise in “Familiarface.” Again, the trip-pop theme dominates, but there are more words here than in any other track. This is pretty relaxing and Rubinstein takes more chances here than on any of the earlier tracks.
Overall, Memory Man is a delight to listen to. Whether the soundtrack to your dinner party, a mystical yoga session, study music or simply because you dig cool music, Big Spider’s Back delivers an album that’s worth a careful listen. What makes this interesting is that though the sound is polished, it was recorded both in his garage studio in Seattle and new adopted hometown of Brooklyn, the record is Rubinstein's first effort completely recorded and mixed on his own, save guest contributions and production work from Seattle friends USF. Whatever he’s doing, it works, and could be the start of a promising career.
The album will be released on July 5 on Portland-based Circle Into Square Records and will be available at all major retailers.