GIVE - GIVE [12 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


GIVE [12 inch] (2009)


When I noticed that GIVE was named as such, and from D.C., I could only think one thing: Yeah, Embrace. While there's a definite Revolution Summer "hardcore" vibe to this self-titled 12" EP on the occasion, their vocalist has a noticeably gruffer and rock'n'roll-edged slant to his shout that comes closer to Danzig than Dag Nasty. This, in turn, leads the release to be a little less taut and anxious than the mid-'80s luminaries you might think of, mixing it up and looking for more than that era's definition of emo.

After the lo-fi instrumental opener "Aaron's Interlude," which mostly sounds like a practice jam sesh, "Amphetamine Dream" kicks off with a much cleaner, distinct riff to start things properly. "Godspeeding" finds space between Quicksand and old Fugazi, with nearly spoken-word verses careening by way of a down-tuned dirge and then more of a bobbing chorus. "Life Unknown" traverses some moderate tempos too, with deep-voiced vocal harmonizing standing out as its second half picks up. "Sun in My Hand (Sweetwater)" sounds a bit early-'90s-Dischord-y too, but something about it deviates further, showing GIVE might strive to not be so easily classifiable all the time.

It takes a few listens to try and get ahold of what GIVE have going on here, and even then, it's not entirely easy to grasp. Nonetheless, it's a cohesive and varied effort.

Amphetamine Dream