Wisconsin band Disq make a grand entrance with their debut album, Collector, a knotty bouquet of chugging indie rock, offbeat power pop, and psych-marinated post-punk. Formed around the creative partnership of lifelong friends Raina Bock (bass, vocals) and Isaac de Broux-Slone (guitar, vocals), the project grew into a highly collaborative five-piece populated with like-minded explorers Shannon Connor (guitar, keys, vocals), Logan Severson (guitar, vocals), and Brendan Manley (drums), who were also active in Madison's indie scene. A well-earned reputation as a fierce live act and a handful of small indie releases later, Disq joined the Saddle Creek roster and hit the studio with producer Rob Schnapf (Kurt Vile, Joyce Manor) to record their first full-length outing. With each member pitching songs into the mix, Collector has some of the multi-pronged eclecticism of a group anthology played by the same house band, though that's also a part of its charm. De Broux-Slone seems to take on the lion's share of the lead vocals while group's muscular guitar-driven sound ebbs and flows throughout the unique arrangements, building up walls of noise, shifting rhythmically, and cascading out with quirky experimental tones and textured keyboard parts. In spite of this, they know their way around smart melodies, especially on front-half standouts like "Konichiwa Internet," "I'm Really Trying," and the tuneful lament for AKG legendary D19 microphone, "D19." Essentially just a repetitively cheery post-punk jag, the wonky "Fun Song 4" is indeed fun, while the all acoustic "Trash" recalls the melancholic alt-folk of early Elliott Smith, with whom producer Schnapf once worked. More than anything, Disq has a knack for big, power-driven indie rock with a sly '90s-inspired tone and chunky riffs. Penultimate track "I Wanna Die" is a dark, sludgy gem that closes out in heroic waves of fist-thumping guitarmonies, wicked static, and cacophonous vocals before giving way to the album's more introspective final cut, "Drum In," whose finale doesn't shirk on the noise either. Collector feels a bit uneven at times, but in the end Disq has enough attitude and smart ideas to keep things exciting.
AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger