Big Ups are not a 2003 UK garage act, as their name might suggest. Let’s just get that out of the way.

“So, what are they then!?”, you cry, with the curiosity in your mind reaching a breaking point. Well, my inquisitive little friend, they are a post-hardcorey/post-rocky 4 piece from New York. Think Fugazi meets Slint. Or a more punk, less sentimental La Dispute.

Perhaps the most important part of the band’s sound, however, if the fact that they sound like they are actually having fun. Sure, their debut album, Eighteen Hours of Static, is filled from start to finish with poetic lyrical angst. A variety of modern day problems are screamed about, from “disposable culture”, to a lack of faith in god, to the information overload that anyone who’s familiar with the internet (you know, that thing you’re using now) will be aware of. However, the music is played with an obvious passion, and wilful experimentation, which renders it more cathartic than mopey.

Too many bands that find themselves lumped into a genre suffixed with “post” perform with a certain po-faced demeanour that can be off putting, but Big Ups sound like 4 dudes that really, really enjoy playing in a band. Unfortunately, for the music industry at least, it sounds really refreshing. It’s the kind of music that you’d gladly shell out a fiver to drink beers and jump around to in a live setting. Which you totally can do in February if you’re from the UK (HINT HINT).

Sean Lewis

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