As it appears on Garnet Eyes, one of two EPs Columbia’s Aim High has released this year, “SSD (Seek. Seduce. Destroy)” is a boisterous blast of condemnatory verve. Caleb Brown’s clean but piercing accusations — “You’re like a bull in a china shop / Yeah, everything you touch just breaks” — are punctuated by overdubbed snarls, stampeding rhythms and guitars that alternately twist and scrape.
The duo's acoustic version presented in this week’s 1 or 2 is not just an acknowledgement that the return of sweaty punk shows in dark rock clubs has yet to come, but an embrace of emo’s long tradition of delicate acoustic renditions of distraught ragers. The guitar lines tangle, but with more grace and ennui, and Brown’s vocal is still equal parts determined and wounded, his subdued performance trading bristling intensity for a greater depth of emotion.
Hopefully, it helps tide you over until we get to see a full-band rendition at a spot like New Brookland Tavern or Art Bar.
The socially distanced performance series 1 or 2 was created to connect Columbia citizens with local artists during the COVID-19 slowdown, and to give those artists a chance to get paid when such opportunities are few and far between. Free Times remains grateful to our partners in this endeavor — One Columbia, Richland Library and SceneSC — for helping us keep it going.
To check out more 1 or 2 videos, all of which are freely accessible without an online subscription, head to free-times.com/1or2. JORDAN LAWRENCE
(SHOT AND EDITED BY DAVID STRINGER)