It's pretty funny that one of the best Saddle Creek releases in recent memory isn't even on Saddle Creek. The lauded Nebraska label is, of course, home to Bright Eyes, the Good Life and the defunct Desaparecidos -- three acts that '89 Cubs draw members from. But the Cubs' debut, There Are Giants in the Earth, came out last month on the modest Portland imprint Slowdance, despite the fact that the S.C. is a pretty tightly knit unit intent on documenting and supporting the Omaha scene's inner circle. But regardless of who footed the bill, Giants is a gleefully merciless flogging of every great indie hook from Versus to Elf Power, all while recalling the ragged, homespun shoegazer sound of the Swirlies (at least before they went techno). Why '89 Cubs' insidiously catchy wall-of-pop masterpiece isn't on Saddle Creek is a mystery; maybe someone over there was afraid it would make the new Son, Ambulance album look even worse.
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