Big Ups
Two Parts Together


4.0
excellent

Review

by Conmaniac CONTRIBUTOR (70 Reviews)
June 7th, 2018 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: gnarled teeth and barbed wire

Patience.

Slint’s Spiderland revolutionized the relationship between underground rock music and this simple conceit of stoical restings, making it a bit unfair for every band that followed in the same vein of moody, spoken-word punk. As a result, most fear being overshadowed by the post-rock giants. However, Big Ups aren’t really afraid of the artist comparison anymore; they’ve established themselves as the reincarnation of the late band, yet are constantly pushing their own highs to new extremes. While their previous material simply copy and pasted the angular, dissonant Slint aesthetic into a PUP-esque punk structure, Two Parts Together yields slightly different products. As if the album name wasn’t telling enough, it’s clearly a project focused on dualities and contrast, both musically and lyrically. Appropriately, the titular track blazes by with a chugging intro riff only to immediately halt, letting a plucked guitar riff to smoothly and quietly enter alongside Joe Galarraga’s monotone impersonation of Brian McMahan. Galarraga often yelps about the dichotomy between expectations and realities while the rhythmic section flips between echoing silence and earth-shattering violence. The lone straight-up punk track, ‘PPP’, highlights this while also nodding to the fortune teller that resided in ‘Breadcrumb Trail’: “a prism, projection, prediction / look into the crystal / and see what you wanna see ”. While seemingly bitter and broken stylistically, the line acts more as a fervent warning for the stubborn generations of today. He later sums up this theme by defining fear as “what you don’t know ”, while later lamenting about the anxious moments before and after sleep. Although a bit ironic when analyzed thematically, ‘Tell Them’ urgently asks its audience to yell back into the void with fervor and passion, as seen with Galarraga’s own desperate shouts. Impatience permeates in the form of lyrical bouts while the music, composed and collected, gasps at solitude in between the shouts.

It’s also worth noting the budget upgrade compared to their previous efforts. In fact, it’s truly the driving factor behind the impact of this album. Instead of fuzzy, lo-fi distortion bleeding through the channels, the guitar tones take on obvious characteristics which range from sparkling clean pluckings to gritty sludge riffs, often transitioning between the two in a blink of the eye. Usually mirroring Galarraga’s own tonal dualities, the guitar and bass team up to either highlight the snarls or hold up the fragile and tired spoken bits. While it’s obvious the production more than spotlights the band’s knack for sudden transitions and gritty atmospheric sections, it’s the subtleties that push the producer’s efforts into the territory of success. On the anthemic closer, ‘Imaginary Dog Walker’, there is a morning dew of click-track electronics and a nightcap of milky, weepy strings, bookending an already well-written stop/start jam. Even the silent moments are efficacious in adding to the low ends of this record. Make no mistake, this is the most quiet the group has ever been, but I think as a result it also might trick it’s listener into thinking this is, at times, the loudest they’ve played. While their fast-paced Melvins-esque days are over, contrasting elements clash together to amplify the newfound appreciation for jawtooth sludge rock. Structurally, the tracks are constantly pushing their own experimentation boundaries, as seen with ‘Trying To Love’ and its emo-tinged outro and clever faux-buildups. The splashes of these alien genres almost always add some needed muted blues and greens to the otherwise monotone water-colorings; ‘Tenmile’s’ psychedelic atmosphere is no exception to this sentiment, despite simply being a 2-minute interlude. While I personally adore finding composure within the already loud and brash (‘Tell Them’ mostly resides in one dynamic, yet slightly elevates its own energy for a satisfying finish), there’s something here for every poised listener.

I’d tell you to be patient, but I think Big Ups are already past that.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


24230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

big 60 and my 1200th rating as well. rly solid album, prob their most realized work

c/c welcome, thanks to Space/Granite, etc etc etc...

granitenotebook
June 7th 2018


799 Comments


nice nice

Papa Universe
June 7th 2018


18507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

appropriate...



two POS together

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


24230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

seeing as im still contrib, that pun is not applicable but I appreciate the sentiment!

Papa Universe
June 7th 2018


18507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

can I not show you a sign of supPUNt?

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


24230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

jeez ur really stretching these...

TheWrenKing
June 7th 2018


1696 Comments


: O

can't wait to listen to this

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


24230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wren boiiii how u been? pls jam yes youll dig

Papa Universe
June 7th 2018


18507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

stretching farther than RaPUNzel's hair...

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


24230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

better

Papa Universe
June 7th 2018


18507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll soon reach my PUNultimate pun.



also, I still think that the slowdowns and clamdowns they do on almost every song are ridiculous.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


24230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah they have a knack for those types of transitions, drummer is low key insane

Papa Universe
June 7th 2018


18507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really don't like them transitions at all. seem like kind of a cheap way to make the subsequent explosions seem more explosive

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


24230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

as my review states, thats exactly the purpose they serve. what would you rather see, then?

Papa Universe
June 7th 2018


18507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I mean, there are surely better ways to make the explosions hurt without lowering yourself to such banal trickery, aye?

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


24230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but...that's like the whole point here. surprised you 4d this seeing how central such a technique is to the album

TheWrenKing
June 7th 2018


1696 Comments


hi con ! i'm good !! hope life is treating u well !!! this is an excellent review !!!!

Papa Universe
June 7th 2018


18507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I liked the album and if it weren't for those moments I would have maybe even 4.0d it, but stronger.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 7th 2018


24230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

oh much love, glad ur well i am too (:

and interesting...ill take the light 4 then

Chortles
June 7th 2018


21301 Comments


good review con, i'm not sure if i'd like this tho . . :thinking:

edit: fuck it i'll probably give it a go



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