Pop “Alex G” into your search bar and the overwhelming result will be a Philly-based songstress, currently set on wooing Arianators with slickly-produced music videos and galling vlog entries. This baffling universe of high street fashion-clad pop hopefuls imposing their inane jibber-jabber on mini-armies of vacuous pubescents is worlds away from that of namesake Alex Giannascoli, a Temple University student who’s instead filling his HQ with unpredictable loner rock.

From the Pixies-esque squealed lick on opener ‘After Ur Gone’ to the amateurish and affecting piano of curtain call ‘Boy’, this debut full-length proves to be a mad swirl of influences – with Big Star-ish jangle and Elliott Smith-like introspection at its core. However, the record’s best moments are often its briefest and most delicate; ‘Rejoyce’ sounds how Broken Social Scene’s ‘Anthems For A Seventeen-Year Old Girl’ might if it was given further off-kilter lilt by Youth Lagoon’s Trevor Powers, while ‘Icehead’ dwells in similar lackadaisical territory. Elsewhere, Built to Spill’s college rock inspires the full-length’s brasher outbursts, like ‘Harvey’.

Both meek and powerful at the same time, ‘DSU’ is ultimately an otherworldly spin on the coming-of-age soundtrack – the sort that’ll creep out under the bedroom doors of an enthusiastic subset. But most interestingly, Alex G’s approach is a nuanced and more intricate update on that of the genre’s forefathers, something that marks him out as a beguiling proposition.


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