New Saddle Creek signings Disq hail from Madison, Wisconsin and this location plays a part in their potent fision of indie rock and power pop. ‘Collector‘ is the five-piece’s eagerly awaited debut album and it does not disappoint.
Combining the jangly melodies of The Magic Gang with the fuzz of early ben Kweller, recent single ‘Daily Routine’ opens the record with its musings on the mundanity of everyday life (‘spending my hours on computer screens’) before the chunky and psychedelic stop-start riffs of ‘Konichiwa Internet’ show Disq are a band not afraid to enter new areas and wear their heart on their sleeves: ‘You in a cage, me in a cave or the other way round. Either way I’m feeling down’. ‘I’m Really Trying’ follows this up with Pavement-meets Coxon guitars. This track finds the band looking back on a break-up (‘It gets much worse at times when I feel like I’m feeling fine’) that they were responsible for but then stating how ‘I’m trying not to take this hard’.
A distant cousin to The Spinto Band’s celebration of the mandolin ‘Oh Mandy’, ‘D19’ finds Disq delivering a heartfelt ode to a D19 microphone: ‘Sometimes you need that memory sound to get your music off the ground’. The earworm chorus finds the band proudly declaring ‘D19 could have been my Queen, the prettiest mic I’ve ever seen. She would make everything sound so serene’ although like all the best love songs, it ends in heartbreak when the equipment breaks: ‘D19 could have been so fine’. ‘Loneliness’ opens with acoustic strums and introspective storytelling as the band again share their complicated feelings about needing space but also fearing isolation: ‘Laying in my bed, filling up with dread’; ‘All I wanted was some loneliness, guess I’ll have plenty of it soon’.
‘Gentle”s hooks and emo stylings (‘I’ve got a way to feel good stuck in the back of my mind’) will lure you in from its opening note before it delivers an irresistible sing-along chorus while ‘Trash’ is altogether more introspective with a sense of longing that brings to mind Eels’ more reflective moments or Elliott Smith. The penultimate ‘I Wanna Die’ has very deliberately paced vocals as the band approach the darkness indicated by its title: ‘I know I can’t decide what’s right and what’s wrong’. This song also has Disq grappling with living ‘without the comfort of my comfortable past’ and singing that title with power and passion.
The closing ‘Drum In’ has a more folky feel to start with before heading into a Guided by Voices sound, albeit with poignant lyrics once again: ‘I’m too busy telling lies’; ‘It’s 4 o’clock, it getting dark. I haven’t eaten anything’. ‘Collector’ is a record you’ll be wanting to add to your collection.