An album built around the paradoxical combination of self-deprecation and self-satisfaction, Big Wow is, by its very nature, a record at odds with itself from the word go.
A cacophonous and lightly psychedelic foray in to the realms of lo-fi indie, Rory Attwell has managed to create a record ripe with all the conventions of a DIY bedroom production, while still managing to mask the wealth of subtle nuances that play out beneath its rough exterior.
Knowing the entire album was played, mixed and mastered by Attwell himself, with very little exception, is impressive in itself. Once the scale of tracks such as "Another Queue At The Coinstar" and "Pink Blackpool Rock" become familiar, its nothing short of incredible. Because of the scale of the instrumentation however, much of the lyrics become lost within the multiple layers; the narrative lost within a contradictory grandiose DIY aesthetic.
It's this rich complexity which, after the repeat listens it begs, allows Big Wow's lo-fi facade to be broken down, revealing just how much time and effort has gone in to making it sound as if the exact opposite were true. Such is the complexity however, that it's "The Islandman", arguably the album's simplest song, that holds the title as stand out track. Built around a looping guitar before the introduction of crashing percussion, its simplicity is a breath of fresh air following the calamity it proceeds.
Big Wow is a strange album. It aims to hide the fact Rory Attwell is a skilled artist, both sides of a production desk, but in doing so actually ends up proving just how talented he is. From the crackle of the lo-fi production working like one of the instruments itself, to Attwell's off-kilter vocal drawl, it's as if nothing here should work, and as a result it does so. It won't be to everyone's tastes, but for those that acquire it, there's plenty reason to go back for repeat servings.