Giving Up sounds like a demolition derby crashed by a stolen school bus, a giddy smash of screw-eyed indie-pop and junk punk. Based out of Garner, Iowa, with members now spread out across the Midwest, Giving Up has been at this mix for over a decade now. Where its previous records touted lo-fi production and a wild abandon towards songwriting, Garner Cardinals gives the formula a bit of spit-polish, not only injecting some studio dynamics but also focusing the manic-pop into tuneful blasts.
"Body" opens the record with a whoop and a wallop, as guitarist Mikie Poland yelps, "My body is a temple / And if this body and blood is the blood of my father / I'm going to sneak inside in the dead of night and vandalize the altar." In Poland's frenetic riffs, that pinball against inside-out drum fills and Jenny Rose's weighty keyboard wheeze, there is a lot of weird energy exhumed, but with a surreal reclamation (and redecoration) of the self.
Garner Cardinals comes out Feb. 16 via Sophomore Lounge.