Sunday, July 8, 2012

Giving Up
Peace Sign / Frown Face
Sophomore Lounge [2012]

Seriously, what is there to do in Iowa besides dodge tornadoes and till the field before sundown? Giving Up sound like they figured out the very answer to that question and musically scrap-booked it within the nine tracks found on their second LP, Peace Sign/Frown Face. Giving Up could've been a K Records band twenty years ago, or if someone told me that these guys ate poorly, smoked massive amounts of marijuana and lived in a snowcap community up in Vermont… I might be swayed to believe that as well. "I found this Built to Spill demo tape baking under the sun in the desert, do you think it still works?" or "Shit, the Modest Mouse dudes are really hitting the bottle hard these days" or even "Damn, I don't own this rare, brief Lou Barlow side project?" are just a few believable pitches; Giving Up knows their roots and doesn't care if you've ever heard any of the bands they dig or might sound influenced by. They also have a logo to accompany their second LP and it's hippy-meets-proto-grunge; think logo Kurt Cobain and Greg Sage would've, could've used for their fantasy epic supergroup existing only in aggressively thirsty musical minds. The songs on PS/FF come off as honest and modest and real. The album is relaxingly slow to mid-tempo, perfectly sloppy, whiny without being pitchy, and although I can't remember a single lyric after hearing the album two times through before writing this review, I'm admittedly hooked. The quality, creativity and originality of the actual songwriting kicks the asses of all the bands who think their sound comes after the effect pedals and in the studio. Giving Up built their house properly and have every freedom available to decorate it as they please.  

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