by Richard Hart
There have been some good bands born down under, from Nick Cave to INXS. “I Am Giant” hail from middle-Earth, also known as New Zealand and have a blend of echoey, atmospheric and slightly over produced rock that will add to the cannon.
Their music is filled with big guitar riffs, melodic breaks and, in most cases, a big chorus. This is anthemic music, big field music in the traditional sense. It’s got more bit to it than some of the other hands of its type, certainly this is no “Crowded House”.
“IAm Giant” debut album is generally quite an upbeat album, filled with a Summery upbeat sound which one generally, stereotypically, associates with New Zealand. Some tracks are much darker and moodier than the rest, the excellent “Nightvision” is a bit of an odd one out but the rest sounds a little like “Foo Fighters” or like a less raw version of “Mammal”.
The album “The Horrifying Truth”, is a long one with fourteen tracks and it has the feel of a debut, lots of long held ideas and feelings that are finally being given voice. The album ranges from simple, strumming instrumentals like Bodies in the River Nile to grand, growling anthems like the excellent Electric Throne to the more run of the mill City Limits; their debut single.
At times the sound is a bit too rich and over produced, losing its edge and straying into the bland side of things. The Escape Artist is one of the “nice” tracks that fade away almost as soon as you finish listening to them.
Elsewhere things are a bit darker with tracks like “And We’ll Defy” which have a stronger bite to them. There’s an emotionally driven tone to the music in tracks like “After the War” and “Electric Throne” that is vaguely reminiscent of bands like “Muse” and “Mammal”.
Then there are the full on rock out tracks like “Purple Heart” which evoke bands like “Faith No More” in terms of tone and the vocals.
“IAm Giant” are certainly not short of ideas, artistic potential or vision. Their debut album offers you lots of to think about, lots to enjoy and lots more to explore.
Electric Throne and Nightvision offer two very different visions of the band at their best, one swaggering and energised and the other introspective and artistic. The bombastic tone of Purple Heart underlines that perhaps the anthem-rock sound is the way that “IAm Giant” will end up going in.
That needn’t be a bad thing, the world always needs another anthem to sing.