In the world of rock bands, a “power-trio” is—more often than not—a tricky setup. Bass, drums, guitar, and vocal duties split between three musicians, working at maximum efficiency to deliver a sound bigger than bands twice their size, is simply a tough formula to make deliver. Philly’s Big Terrible walks this tightrope with impressive expertise, and their strides are growing longer with each of their releases.

The innovators of the power-trio setup, bands like Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, were bluesmen at heart, and Big Terrible has the natural blues sensibilities to deserve those comparisons. The band consists of brothers Dan and Tim Lynam, on guitar and drums respectively, as well as their childhood neighbor Jon Dumoff on lead vocals and bass. Communication among a band this small is absolutely key, and Big Terrible’s songs are steeped in the familiarity and closeness of lifelong friends. Tim is the gear-head of the band, molding their sound into a thick stew of raw ingredients that become perfectly indistinguishable from one another. Technical skill aside, what anchors a successful three-piece is good old-fashioned songwriting. Big Terrible cut their teeth on the seamless, no-frills compositions of The Band and Neil Young and, although their signature sound is considerably heavier than these classic songwriters, the influence is undeniable.

Their first LP, Face the Stone was packed full of heavy riffs, thunderous drums, and powerful vocals. On their new EP, produced by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog), the band explored what they are capable of a bit more. The result is a great collection of new songs that stays true to what makes the band unique, but also shows growth from the guys. In addition to their brand of blues-soaked heavy rock, they weren’t afraid to tackle piano ballads that show off Jon Dumoff’s impressive vocal range. When we had them in our studio, they performed an example of each of these styles for our cameras. First up is the rocker “Brother Solace”, which boasts a riff from guitar player Dan Lynam that makes you wonder “How did Jimmy Page NOT write this in 1970?” The second song, “Strange Shade”, is a pure and simple love song that peaks with powerful vocal intensity from Dumoff. We sat down with them after the session to learn a little more about their story.