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Young The Giant
Young The Giant Young The Giant
Released 26 August 2011

Joe Chiccarelli,
Young The Giant
Label Roadrunner Records
Length 50:48
Genre Indie rock, alternative
Website www.youngthegiant.com

Orange County quintet Young The Giant have crafted a debut album of anthemic, potentially stadium filling, rock songs. It's hard not to fall in love with their polished brand of highly melodic and uplifting jangly guitar pop, on songs such as 'Apartment'. However results are mixed with several rather boring songs weighing the album down. The standard of musicianship is excellent throughout, and although the music has a very stadium rock feel to it, it is also intricate and nuanced.

"My body tells me no, but I won't quit, cause I want more", belts lead singer Sameer Ghandhi in the first of several hands in the air moments on 'My Body'. It's the kind of rock song that Kings of Leon built their success upon. 'I Got' is a radio friendly bass and drums led mid-tempo disco meets barbershop outing. Once again the guitar work by Jacob Tiley is accomplished and weighted perfectly for the track which also features some notable organ swirls. The controversial 'Cough Syrup' the bands biggest hit to date, is the least rewarding of the tracks so far, as an over familiar melody with echoes of Jimmy Eat World and several one hit wonders is hammered home. 'God Made Man' continues the sudden drop in quality with only the chorus worthwhile.

The KOL light stylings of '12 Fingers' puts the album back on firmer ground. 'Strings' see standards raised furthermore. However, 'Your Side' really sees the quintet back in their stride with another radio friendly pop rock song. Once again it is the three pronged attack of interweaving bass grooves, choppy disco riffs which make this track standout. Similarly, the same approach makes 'St. Walker' another disco rock highlight. If Young The Giant continue to produce material like this they may find themselves constantly compared to Maroon 5 and though elements of that sound are present, the playing is certainly superior.

'Islands' is perhaps the bravest track on the album. It sees Young The Giant cast away the safety of their Californian rock roots and create a silky middle-eastern inspired track which sees Sameer Ghandhi prove himself capable of being more Jeff Buckley -think 'Everybody Here Wants You'- than modern crooner.

Overall it’s an enjoyable listen and I dare say you can expect to hear many of the songs appearing in feature films over the next eighteen months or so. However, I can't guarantee this album will hold your attention long term. This one is very much a case of try before you buy.

- Stephen Byrne