Big Ups, “Not Today”

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Punk might be the most argumentative word in the music dictionary. Known iconically for the leather-jacket-clad, often crusty, angry white male, it is often disregarded as brutish and uncivilized. But punk is actually a voice for the subversive, and in 2014 Brooklyn, subversive means self-reflection. People are full of insecurities, and rarely do they want to look in the mirror when things go wrong. So how does a group of four NYU graduates get on stage to scream at people and still make punk relevant? They point the finger at themselves.

Since the release of their debut LP, Eighteen Hours of Static, Big Ups and frontman Joe Galarraga have taken an introspective look at the ways our own (or their own) actions affect the politics of the world around them. Sure it’s shitty, but aren’t we all partly to blame? And more importantly, when will we make a change? Those are the questions Big Ups seem to ask with every song they release—unless they’ve giving up altogether—and finally they’ve provided an answer.

“Not Today” is the second song of their recent 7″ single, which came out this week in the UK on Tough Love and will be released as a split with ECB&B label-mates Washer on Exploding In Sound November 18. Like the first cut, “Rash“, “Not Today” feature’s Galarraga’s harsh rasping vocals. Alternating between monotone dialogue and desperate caterwauling, he personifies Big Ups’ attempt to rationalize the craziness, while simultaneously embracing the uncertainty.