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Big Ups// The Shipping Forecast/ 25.2.14

Draped in a cavalcade of noise, Brooklyn’s finest Big Ups swoop onstage proving why they are the best at what they do. Raucous howls, thrashing left right and centre. You know, the full hardcore works.

This couldn’t be more welcome after a trio of lacklustre supports, who individually would’ve been good but when piled into together with various degrees of Jawbreaker-worship adds up to… well something underwhelming. But enough of that.

Live, Big Ups slake excellent tropes not really seen since Moss Icon last walked the earth, chief amongst which are the spoken word interludes, which exist in a sublime tension with the visceral yowls that surround it as singer Joe Gallaraga prowls around the audience wrapped in his microphone. But all of this is fluff without the tunes to back up the bravado. And boy do they have tunes; chugging, slashing riffs swinging in and out of focus and ferocious drums buttress Joe’s antics, grounding him. It’s just a shame the audience is so polite, whatever most of the audience will go home and spoon their Rites of Spring/Embrace/Drive Like Jehu anthologies (delete as appropriate) and bask in the afterglow of a night well done.

/Laurie Cheeseman

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