Operation Ivy is a legendary band. If you're a member of a legendary band, you're expected to go on to do legendary things. Unless you're the drummer, then no one really cares. The bassist and guitarist went on to form a small band called Rancid, but the singer of Op Ivy, he led a different life. His post-legendary bands have been smaller.
Big Rig was the first musical offering from Jesse Michaels since the split of Op Ivy. According to the liner notes, the project lasted a couple months and this posthumous 7" is their only label release. They also have a self-released cassette with a couple other songs. It's not a bad record, but the comparison to that legendary band that came before leaves me wanting more. There's some good bass work and Michaels' vocals are a foreshadowing of his work with Classics of Love - a band that I think is nearing par with Op Ivy - but there is not a powerful attraction to the songs here.
"Will Alone" has a great sing along anthem feel to it. The call/response of "One day down, 1000 years to go" is begging to be shouted out at a show. The B-side is faster and more hardcore, with less attempt at hooks, leaving any trace of ska-punk behind for another hint at the Classics of Love sound. The last song, "Persistence" is a little sloppy and Michaels' takes a backing vocal role. Perhaps this hints at a little band tension? Since they were a band for such a short time, it's hard to say.
If you're a fervent Jesse Michaels fan, you probably already own this record. If you like Classics of Love nearly as much as Op Ivy, this might be a good one to add to your collection.
A1: Expansive Heart
A2: Will Alone
B1: New Fist