The band hasn't altered the ingredients British pub rock, American power pop and tipsy honky-tonk grace. It's just improved them. Singer-songwriter Isaac Alexander's thick croon has gotten sweeter, drummer Bart Angel and shaggy bassist Kevin "the Beast" Bennett (who looks like he leaped straight out of Dr. Teeth's Electric Mayhem orchestra pit) are uncommonly fluid, keyboardist Shelby Smith dances around the ivories like Chico Marx and Booker T put together, and lead guitarist Brad Williams still pumps out spiky hooks and ambient twang, but lays back into the songs more this time around.
From the rangy grandeur of "Loved to Hate," with its playful sketch of prickly love affair, to the tragic twang of "Anything," Alexander has an offhand, veracious way with words that belies his vocal similarities to fussy wordsmiths like Costello and Graham Parker. In the stomping closer, "Rock and Roll Dreams," when Alexander sings, "I don't want to be famous, just a little attention," you believe him. But if Big Silver keeps this up, one of these days it might just have to reluctantly accept all it deserves.