Gig Review: Big Ups Album Release Show

Posted: by The Editor

The tightly packed gem of a venue, Secret Project Robot in Bushwick, Brooklyn was one of the most intimate nights of music I’ve experienced in a long time. The hundreds who all came about to come to listen to Brooklyn’s post-punk band Big Ups new record titled Two Parts Together was like a swarm of bees to honey. Creating a unique environment of lovers of art, culture and of course, music. Along with openers Human People, Water From Your Eyes and LVL Up, the release show was an endearing and admirable night for Big Ups, launching Two Parts Together into the world and receiving amazing feedback.

Punk band Human People are a band to keep your eyes on. Opening up the night with witty lyrics about love and dating. Lead singer and guitarist Haley delivered an amazing vocal performance and the band’s banter about Big Ups between tuning and offered a tasteful beginning to the rest of the night. 

An interesting addition to this bill, Water From Your Eyes, gave me a watered down feeling of Palm in the best way possible. Having no drummer, no physical rhythm section whatsoever and only getting those out of a sequence from guitarist Nate Amos, the group gave a unique and interesting approach to what they call “dance-rock”. With singer Rachel Brown’s almost conversational like vocal delivery over the tracks, the band had almost a math-rock feel to it. The twangy guitar riffs bouncing back and forth like a couple arguing, the music seemed like a chaotic neutral. The only things holding down the fort between the vocals and the sequenced tracks off the laptop. After listening to their set, I knew that I was diving in deep into a new portal of music through Water From Their Eyes and I’m not sure where it will take me.

The Sub-Pop signed indie rock band LVL Up gave a confident performance. Sounding almost identical to their recordings with a punch, the quartet hones down their musical craft unlike a band of any other. The 3 vocalists of the group, Mike Caridi (guitar), Dave Benton (guitar) and Nick Carbo (bass) all interchange mic power throughout the set. Showcasing that this band are the biggest collaborators and admires each other’s skills and expertise to deliver some of the best indie rock of the last decade. Bassist Nick Carbo announced mid-set that the band is working on some new material, of which I am heavily anticipating.

Two Parts Together is the third record by post-punk band Big Ups. Their last record released in 2016 titled, Before A Million Universes, had a heavy influence of punk with dense guitar riffs and a bass that filled up my headphones. Going into Two Parts Together I was hoping that the band would be diving deeper into that heaviness and start bridging more into the punk side of their sound. However, what I got was something that had a funkiness to it almost similar to CAKE.

The opening track of the same title held looping notes and mumbling lyrics cascading into heavy bass riffs and screaming vocals. Having a steady stream into the next track “In The Shade”. The album has a great flow to it, allowing the tracks to seamlessly go from one to another, but also holding their own individuality. With tracks already previously released such as “PPP” and “Fear”, I was not expecting an album with such aggression but not in the typical punk sense. Big Ups are not what I would call a punk band, but Two Parts Together seems to pull influences from almost every direction, creating a collective of chaos in a uniform matter.

The performance of this record affirmed everything and more I had pre-conceived about the album. Vocalist Joe Galarraga is a performer beyond imagination. The nice guy I had shaken hands with before the show completely transformed into this monster of a singer. Hopping on and off stage and holding the mic as if it’s an extension of his own hand. Big Ups are more than just your average band, they are a complete entity within themselves.

Bassist, Carlos Salguero held the band together, ripping through every track with ease. Half of the crowd was shouting out “Tyler, Tyler!” as he came on stage to play guitar and keys for the band.  Tearing through track by track and even noting their influence of Red Hot Chili Peppers on this record by introducing “Tell Them” as “the actual Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song”. The undoubted energy Big Ups holds for their sound and gratifying hooks are what I think this band holds special and endearing. They aren’t just here to sell you a track or loop through the album as if it pains them to play it again. Their excitement and soul that they put into Two Parts Together are what has me returning to the album almost every day since its release.

Human People

Water From Your Eyes


Lvl Up




Big Ups





Writing and photography by Sarah Knoll

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