Track Review – Capitalized / Big Ups

Big Ups have come back, this time releasing their second album with Exploding In Sound Records, the same label that releases alt-rock heroes Pile and Krill. It makes perfect sense; Big Ups are a noisier version of those bands, but with the same DIY punk attitude that sounds like the Washington punk scene of the 90s in the 21st century. And ‘Capitalized’ is a continuation of what they achieved on their last record, Eighteen Hours of Static, in an even more compact and noisy form. Though Joe Galarraga can definitely scream, the quiet moments that contrast the sludgy bass and general distortion on the chorus are often the moments that work the best.

The bassline is what makes the song, opening it with a low-slung grunginess to it and somehow making it through Galarraga’s screams and power-chord thrashing. The production leaves the verse vocals way too low in the mix and Galarraga can only be heard properly on the chorus when he’s screaming his lungs out. The song is short – punkily short. It could have easily been longer, suggesting that ‘Capitalised’ isn’t short for the love of good old punk rock, but because the band ran out of power chords to thrash around with. Good, but more needed.