Ever Crashing

Back in the 80s, there was this thing called "indie rock." Kids today think they know what that means, but usually they miss out on just how messy it was. The major-label versions of Husker Du, 'Mats and Soul Asylum are what a lot of people think of when they think of indie rock. Except that those albums were anything but indie.

Among Giants
Back and Forth EP

Toward the end of that cycle, a band from Durham/Chapel Hill (a designation I use advisedly) completely changed the rules. Its best work came in short, seven-inch bursts, and it never completely cleaned up its act. And when its label left Carrboro and headed to New York (and a major-label distribution deal), the band decided to start its own label and stay independent. More than twenty-five years later, Superchunk still rocks.

Among Giants isn't quite as scratchy as the earliest 'chunk, but it's easily one of the messiest tuneful rock bands I've heard in quite a while. This sound is something of a sweet spot for me, especially the hoarsely-shouted choruses. I can't help but smile.

I wish I could say that this sound is on the way back, but even in its heyday it wasn't actually popular. It's not metal, not really punk and has very little that might inspire trendiness. And maybe that's why I like this sort of ragged, crunchy stuff. It's basic, but basic turned up to 11.

Four songs are hardly enough to tell me if Among Giants has a real future. But as an appetizer, this one satisfies like an entree. Eight minutes of bliss.

Jon Worley

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