EP Review: Corusco – “Don’t Give Up”

Standout indie rock with bits of emo vibes and post-anything hints.

FFO: Moving Mountains, Brand New, Death Cab For Cutie, Bright Eyes


The one thing the entire population can agree on, even amidst the ever dividing political climate, is that there are simply too many genre names. Whenever an artist dares to bring originality or nuance to their work writers, listeners, and fellow musicians clamor about to define the new niche in the music world. Right from the beginning I knew I would be enjoying Corusco when they dared to poke fun at this notion by labeling themselves “post-grad”. They recognize that this joke genre actually does a pretty good job at defining their sound, and after a listen through their new EP, “Don’t Give Up”, you will too.

Corusco (with an o not with an a) is unequivocally an indie rock band, however it’s clear their listening habits are broad and they allow themselves to be influenced by what they enjoy. The sound weaves in and out of post rock ambience and post-hardcore heaviness all while maintaining their signature indie/alternative attitude. The final piece of cohesion to the music is their front man Aaron Gonzalez. His intense, impassioned vocals harken back to your favorite emo vocalist with the added bonus of never coming across as whiny or overdone. Lyrically Gonzalez pulls on similar strings, but with imagery and metaphors that are fresh and uniquely personal to his own experience. Ryan Corb, Phillip Baugh, and Carlos Garza fill out the rest of the lineup. Throughout the course of the record they prove themselves not just as instrumentalists, but as a tight unit more than capable of playing the music they have written.

“Don’t Give Up” is comprised of six distinct songs that take you on a journey that is whole but leaves you wanting more. The opening track, “John Collin”, hits right away with a memorable guitar line that quickly materializes into a dark and catchy progression of verse and chorus. It ends with a powerful bridge that sets the mood for the rest of the EP.

The second song, “Twin Ghosts”, is an amalgam of Death Cab For Cutie, Brand New, and Moving Mountains. The music sets up the perfect soundscape for the lyrics to drive the song. There is an art to telling story through song and not many artists are able to pull it off. Corusco does it masterfully, and for that reason it’s quickly become my personal favorite.

The middle of the record exploits the diversity that Corusco has to show. “Sugar Cubes” could easily be a track from a different indie-folk or acoustic act, but that actually works in their favor. It shows just how well the songs can be stripped down and translated to work in an acoustic environment. Track four creeps in and starts to expose the ambience within Corusco’s sound. Delay and reverb in indie music can be a slippery slope, and at times bands put songwriting on the back burner in place of noise for the sake of noise. Fortunately, Corusco use it to their advantage and don’t fall into this pit trap.

The record rounds out with an interlude leading into the single “Burn Out Loud”. Easily one of the strongest songs on the record, “Burn Out Loud” ties together all the elements that make this EP great. Strong hooks, emotional lyrics, and expansive ambience all leave me wanting to hear the song again and again.

“Don’t Give Up” is a unique piece of Indie Rock that even through hints of familiarity is in every which way original and 100% Corusco. Simply put do NOT sleep on this.

Check for the release of their single “Burn Out Loud” on July 22nd, and watch out for the whole EP in August!

Burn Out Loud

Be sure to check back with us here at Pillar Collective for features on Corusco in the near future, and make sure you give them some love below!

Support your local musicians, support your touring musicians, support musicians. Buy a CD, find artists online, dare to see a show with artists you might not know. Who know’s you might surprise yourself. You might even surprise us. Let us know what you find. We are dying to hear it!

Signing off,

Evan Seeberger (@saucebythesea)

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One thought on “EP Review: Corusco – “Don’t Give Up”

  1. Pingback: Pillar Interview: Corusco – 10/4/16 | Pillar Collective

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