Review: Disq – “Communication” b/w “Parallel”

Sad to have missed the initial boat on this one.  Out now for nearly two weeks, the new single from the Madison, WI duo Disq still, after 10-ish days, has its hooks in my eardrums, a little 1-2 punch-punch as relevant and catchy as much of what Saddle Creek has put together through its Document Series during the past two years.

To be fair, while Disq traffics in the kind of hyper-likable pop-punk popularized by Weezer, it definitely does add a little bit of Madison’s unique quirkiness and Midwestern charm into the mix; songs like “Communication,” the A side, sound less like The Blue Album than, say, John Stuart Mill at his least dissonant, least anemic, or maybe A Minus Story at its least angular or dressed-up. This is due, in large part, to Isaac deBroux-Slone’s slithery guitar delivery, which offers sliding refrains and jangly notes when most guitarists would revert to just a crunchy power-chord.

What’s quite surprising about the single is, given how pitch-perfect the group nails the A side, they choose to reinvent the proceedings on side B. “Parallel,” driven by Raina Bock’s bluesy walking-bass figures, plods where “Communication” slinked, and, in its closing half, parses a kind of super-accessible psychedelia that makes more than a passing nod to Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. Interesting stuff. Anxious for a full-length successor to this and Disq I. – Justin Vellucci, Swordfish, Feb. 7, 2019

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About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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