If you’ve been following Korean Indie, you may notice how much we support Big Phony. It’s not because we’re heavily biased, but want to see Big Phony get bigger and more popular. He debuted the news of Straight To Bootleg, Volume 3 not long after the official release of Big Phony. What I enjoy most about Volume 3 is that the first half is essentially his self titled, only in demo form. The song order is the same which makes it easy to get the comparisons between songs. The latter half features song demos of new songs, many of which are on the same level of the Big Phony tracks.
Even though these are demos, you hear different versions of the songs. “Ready or Not” on Big Phony features a full band accompaniment, but on Straight To Bootleg the accompaniment is more electronic samples and drum beat. While the melody is the same, the electronic backing gives the song a different energy. Big Phony’s previous Straight To Bootleg releases have a lot of excellent songs that would be great on official albums, but the Straight To Bootleg volumes allow the core ideas of the songs to be revealed. If you own the latest album, be sure to listen to the demos.
What I find more interesting are the nine demos not on Big Phony. Whether or not these songs ever get the “official” touch, they show growth for Big Phony. I’m not sure if these are all demos recorded during his album pre-production even though they’re B-sides, but there’s a consistent honesty that comes from the lo-fi tone of these tracks. “엄마, Flowers For Your Bed Stand” carries the tone of older Bootleg tracks while pursing a different maturity. It’s a heavy song and one that might be better left in this form than ever getting the official treatment. The back half also features a variety of recording quality, but is able to capture the magic in Big Phony’s voice.
If you bought the self-titled album, Straight To Bootleg, Volume 3 is the companion disc. As much as I love Big Phony, his Straight To Bootleg releases have always been favorites slightly more than the official albums and this is no different. He could have easily released the back nine songs and had an incredible B-sides album. Putting all the demos along with these songs together shows how much Big Phony improves with each release.