If you are unfamiliar with the Long Island based quartet, Giants At Large, then you should know how much they enjoy teetering between fast-paced pop punk anthems, and more thoughtful alternative slow burns. Though this has become an increasingly popular approach within the genre, Giants At Large have managed to carve out their own little niche. Their distinctiveness lies in the band’s natural ability to create and capture a sound that is full of heart and laced with sincerity. While cementing their presence within the pop punk scene, both locally and nationally, the band is set to release their first full length record, Doubt.
To be perfectly clear, Doubt is not your little brother’s pop punk record.
The record proves to be the band’s most thought out and progressive to date, as it redefines their musical identity and further develops their sound.
Throughout the eleven-song track list, Giants at Large stretch the confines of their genre, yet they never shed them. Instead, they improve upon existing structures and dynamics and incorporate new influences to create a sound that is a natural progression more than a retooling.
As a whole, Doubt is a magnetic record that fits nicely between two poles (north and south). With album opener “Timebomb,” the band crafts a slower song that takes the time to build and develop into something very powerful. This opener firmly grasps the concept of something starting at its beginning, i.e. a north pole. In contrast with this is the album’s closer, “Let Me Down.” Though more aggressive, this closer displays the band’s progression, and ultimately brings Doubt full circle, i.e. a south pole.
Giants at Large manage to explore and employ a number of dynamics gracefully, and as a result the record is never disjointed. While tracks like “Villans” and “Anti-Hero” capture the band’s familiar aggression, “Doubt,” “Morning Birds,” and “Sleep Sound” better display the growth and evolution the quartet has undergone. In place of retooling, Giants at Large have embraced their previous musical identity and taken it to the next stage. By spreading enough familiarity through their newer stylings, Doubt benefits from tight cohesion of tonality.
Musically, the band is at an all time high. With tight rhythms, and layered melodies throughout, you will undoubtedly be singing along in no time. With a unique approach to drumming, syncopated vocals, and dynamic strings, Giants at Large truly showcase their ability to craft a record that rests on its musicianship as much as its hooks. Lyrically the album deals with a number of themes; however, vocalist/guitarist/frontman Matt Lagattuta’s introspection is never too far dethatched from the listener. Instead, each song bears an honesty that is easy to identify with. As a result, the album is an incredibly hard-hitting and personal experience. The quartet understands universality and it serves them quite well throughout.
Doubt is a mammoth record from beginning to end. It showcases a band that is not afraid to step outside their genre, as well a band that strives to reinvent elements within their genre. With subtle touches of personality, character is a big part of Doubt. Even when boiled down to the production, the quartet is present as the album was engineered and recorded by Lagattuta and the rest of the band.
With personality, sincerity, and character all present, Giants at Large have crafted a well-balanced record that shows why growth and progression are great things.
Giants at Large will be playing their CD release August 26th at the Vibe Lounge in Rockville Centre.