Sounds Like: Sticking it to the man with style.
For Fans of: Slint, Fugazi, grotesque facial expressions
Why You Should Pay Attention: The four-piece post-punk outfit Big Ups have been entrenched in Brooklyn's DIY scene for several years, playing marathon shows and creating an unlikely anthem from the chorus of their song "Justice": "Everybody says it's getting better all the time but it's bad/Still bad!" They're poised to hit bigger stages from here on out: They just opened for Metz and released a sensational sophomore record, Before a Million Universes. On the new album, they've refined the blistering post-punk anthems that turned heads on their debut with sharper hooks and more evocative lyrics about isolation and self-discovery. "People say 'don't read the comments,' but there's something about wanting to be a better writer," says frontman Joe Galarraga. "We tried to make this record a little less explicit, in your face. More well-crafted and less didactic."
They Say: "All of our songs' demo names are really bad," Galarraga says. "'Knight' was called 'Carlos and Joe are Doing the Thing, and Now We're Not' for a really long time. 'Justice' was originally called 'Funkbutt,' because it has that bass line. 'National Parks' was called 'New Fugazi.' There was one called 'New Jazz' and another called 'New New Jazz.'" Adds drummer Brendan Finn: "We were more familiar with 'Funkbutt' at shows, we'd call it that sometimes onstage. We use those names pretty much until we write the new record."
Hear for Yourself: In the mighty "National Parks," Galarraga addresses the sacrifices his single mother made for him and his sister through throttles and well-placed screams. Paula Mejia