AOTY 2018

Before A Million Universes

Big Ups - Before A Million Universes
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2016 Ratings: #379 / 758
User Score
Based on 43 ratings
2016 Ratings: #335
March 4, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Exploding in Sound / Label
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Big Ups combine the elements in such a way that compliments their signature style without ever compromising their identity; Before a Million Universes will almost certainly be one of the most interesting punk releases of 2016 because of that.


A smart young band in an increasingly dumbed-down world, Big Ups may have found their voice in the past, but they're clearly swinging for a brighter future.


On Before A Million Universes, Big Ups are challenging and awkward in the best way. It's not for the faint of heart; it demands focus, and rewards it hugely. Don't sleep on this album.

The Line of Best Fit

Though it may have lost some of the urgency of their debut, Before a Million Universes has allowed the band to develop a level of genuine introspection rarely seen in the hardcore of today.


Every phrase Galarraga screams, every phrase that he does not, every burst of noise within a track’s connective fiber are carefully calculated tabs on their audience’s emotional pulse.

Consequence of Sound

In a scene in which everyone’s shouting about abstract entities like capitalism and the State, Galarraga continually finds ways to make his rage personal.


Though it’s easy for Before a Million Universes to fit the roles of hunter and hunted, it stages itself by being as calculated as possible before putting its war paint and entering the jungle.


‘Before A Million Universes’ is a tooth-and-nail attempt at the remarkable that head-butts through expectations but cowers in the presence of limitless creativity.


They don’t often get the time to build a song from nothingness to explosion quite as well as they mastered on their debut. It’s a powerplay that largely works, yet still takes enough rests to showcase a frantically beating heart and a definite intelligence underneath.

Tiny Mix Tapes

While this doesn’t exactly add up to any profound reinvention of genre, Before a Million Universes thrives best without thinking.

No Ripcord

The whole of it is too calculated, even if they occasionally hit the mark with an obvious attention to craft which, to be fair, certainly counts for something.

Noise rockers, Big Ups, come out with a sophomore album that polarizes noise and silence in a very deliberate way. While it seems overtly intentional the instrumentation and general flow of the album is what helps the album be a wicked listen.

Favorite tracks: Capitalized, Posture, Negative
This was a rollercoaster, we go up with each track that follows and then it goes downhill, then it picks up again but not as much as the first time. Big Ups' Before A Million Universes dives into fun and interesting themes without getting too political. The production is diverse enough to get you hooked since the beggining, even though there are some moments where the crescendo can get tedious, it's gripping nonetheless. I was a bit disappointed with the tracks in the middle, I felt the impact ... read more
Big Ups really let their Slint influence get to their heads in the most derivative way possible and thus lose most of the passion that gave them such a fun identity.

Favourite tracks: Contain Myself, Posture
Post-hardcore seems to be receiving some fresh air lately with some interesting releases popping up in the american scene that seemed half-dead for quite some time now. Big Ups is a pretty good band when it comes to cerebral, articulated Fugazi-like post-hardcore, with striking lyrics, raw vocals and weird song structures. On their sophomore record, the band offers yet again a nice exercise in the genre, blending elements from punk, alternative-rock and experimental instrumentals that show up ... read more
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#49/The Needle Drop

Track List

  1. Contain Myself
  2. Capitalized
  3. Posture
  4. Feathers of Yes
  5. Meet Where We Are
  6. Negative (Intro)
  7. Negative
  8. Hope for Someone
  9. Knight
  10. National Parks
  11. So Much You
  12. Proximity Effect
  13. Yawp
Contributions By
thisisabtlgrnd, patton
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Added on: January 13, 2016