Hang Ups

  • Hang Ups
  • Comin' Through EP (Clean) 1993 
  • He's After Me (Clean) 1993 
  • Second Story (Clean/Restless) 1999 

The Hang Ups’ airy vocals suggest various three-letter bands like the dB’s and La’s, but rude bursts of guitar keep the Minneapolis quartet’s pop precariously impolite. Songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Brian Tighe has a good grip on classic pop, but seems reluctant to put down the intrusively stark guitars. Co-produced by Ed Ackerson (27 Various/Polara), He’s After Me gets off to a breezy start with “Waiting,” a catchier, benign version of Morrissey’s yodel-flirting. The Byrds-inspired “50,000 Ft.” rises to the level of some of the band’s other influences — Big Star and the Dangtrippers. “Waltz,” an effective curiosity, borrows the melody of its verse from “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” The five-song Comin’ Through borrows the brisk folk-rocker “Runway” from the album, adding three non-LP songs and a lysergic version of “Eight Miles High” (reclaimed from Dü Hüskers: The Twin Cities Replay Zen Arcade tribute album). The title track kicks in with tired but agreeable Velvets-like guitars, then falls into a pillow of Simon and Garfunkel harmonies. “This Is the Hand” has pleasant country and Lovin’ Spoonful overtones, letting the guitars actually weave some texture.

[Jordan Oakes]