On Sunday 27th October the world lost one of the most creative and influential musicians, Lou Reed was a founding member of The Velvet Underground; a band that changed people’s perceptions of what music should sound like and pushed the boundaries of the time. He went on to a hugely successful solo career that spanned almost 40 years, continually trying new things and influencing generations of musicians to create some of the most popular music in all manner of genres and countries. Today’s Track of the Day is from the New York based 4 piece punk outfit ‘Big Ups’ with their track Wool; a song that clearly followed Reed’s innovation and experimentation and uses it to the best of their abilities.
Taken from their debut album ‘Eighteen Hours of Static’, set for release in January 2014 the band show two extremes of their musicality; starting with a dreary and almost dead pan delivered opening of the song which then leads into a rambunctious climax.
With seemingly unconnected lyrics the song somehow manages to paint extremely vivid imagery in the listener’s imagination, the narrative seems to focus on the isolation and desperation of the main protagonist of the piece, slowly building to the unveiling that he’s just pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes and playing on it to some degree.
“Making rounds, breaking down without a sound”
It’s everything you would expect from a track within this genre, there’s the usual teenage angst and emotive lyricism that so many acts have played on before and carved a career from with relative ease. The thing that differentiates this from the crowd is how poetic and unique they’ve managed to make it; the build-up is a particular effect that highlights them as something new, a lot of bands will just wallow in self-pity throughout the entire song and not have anything defining happen, Big Ups have managed to portray how their mind works, the surge of anger towards the end shows their inner turmoil and aggression coming to a head.
To draw comparisons to other artists you can hear a clear influence from post hardcore giants Fugazi, especially during the final flurry of instrumentals. I happened to notice a lot of advent-garde and experimental elements within this track; while predominantly a self-confessed punk band I’d label this more alternative and somewhat progressive.
In essence this track is a perfect example of what people should be doing with music, experimentation and taking risks is what music is about and should be used as a powerful tool rather than shied away from. With their debut album release next year you can expect to see a lot more of this band in the near future.