Among Giants are exactly the sort of thing I’m trying to describe when I am talking to mates about forming a new band, lying somewhere between Osker (oh please get back together!), Interpol and Andrew Jackson Jihad on the musical spectrum. Among Giants hail from Orlando, FL and they play aggressive emo or choppy, in-your-face folk (or anti-folk) punk, and fuck me they are the business. I could go on all day about this band but I will confine myself to discussing their new EP Back and Forth.
Track one, “Cats and Ferrets”, bounds in as a straight up rock song with all the panache of Arthur Fonzarelli on a motorbike made of ice and good hair. The lyrics are blistering; you can feel the Florida heat on the air and the frustration of warm, sleepless nights in every bar (music meaning) and lots of wasted nights in every bar (boozy meaning). The singer laments “I’m so sick of being one of you” – and I believe it!
“Hardwood Floors” is a similarly emo/rock-type tune with some fucking class stop-starts (I am a sucker for stop-starts and gang vocals and this less-than-two-minute tune is packed with both). It blasts through, with no regard for how much you’re enjoying it – top class stuff! Sore hearts, heads and limbs come to mind – really awesome and shit memories of being in bands and knackering bits of me that should have worked into my sixties come flooding back here.
Track three – “Art School” – is a thoughtful and pacy tune. It seems that the singer is trying so hard to believe that things will get better but at the same time, it’s a declaration that we’re always wrong anyway and nobody is worth putting yourself second for. This one is probably my favourite on the EP so be prepared to fall in love.
“The World Is Not My Friend” is another song cut from the same mould as the other three – personal to the singer in an intense and very intimate way yet at the same time speaking to all humans (well, all punx who spent time kicking their heels in shopping centres in the late 90s/early 00s anyway) in a very real way. The similarities to Osker don’t begin and end with the lyrics but they are the best thing about both bands and like 2001’s Idle Will Kill (yes, it’s that old and so are we), Back and Forth is performed by a band whose talent far exceeds what is reasonable for such young people!
– Andy Chainsaw