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Album Review

Big Ups – Before A Million Universes

Big Ups - Before A Million Universes

The beautiful moments of solitude and chaos make for a stunning record.

Label: Tough Love/Exploding In Sound/Brace Yourself Records
Released: 4th March 2016

Rating: ★★★★

‘Before A Million Universes’ sounds like it could be a long lost record found deep in the archives of Sub Pop. First track, ‘Contain Myself’, sets the bar high with its dense layers of lo-fi bass and epic drumming coming together to create a piece of well-trimmed, primed to perfection rock: and the high quality continues throughout, particularly in ‘Meet Where We Are’ as Big Ups fluctuate between ambient rock, punk and grunge without sounding messy in the slightest.

What’s really exciting is the way Joe Galarraga can consistently revolutionise his vocals, yet still exhibit the feeling of a tortured soul. ‘Capitalised’ begins with an ear-bleeding screech that clambers through the turbulent noise before dipping into a melodic chant, and on ‘Feathers of Yes’, the vocals and instruments fall into a virtually non-existent whisper: both tracks making for a gripping, if uneasy listen. The twists and turns, the beautiful moments of solitude and the brief chaos makes for a stunning record. Emily Pilbeam