Among Giants - Back And Forth (Cover Artwork)

Among Giants

Back And Forth (2014)


For some reason, when I think of music coming from Florida, my mind directly shifts to the Gainesville scene. With staples like No Idea Records, Fueled By Ramen, The Fest and bands such as Against Me!, you sometimes forget that the Sunshine State offers an array of punk-based music elsewhere. Being about 100 miles southeast of Gainesville in a small town that you might've heard called Orlando, Among Giants is one of those bands trying to build a name. Though this three-piece is still young, they already tout one full-length, and a variety of splits and EPs in their catalog. Now add another hash mark next to the EP category with their latest four-song release, "Back And Forth," via Jetsam-Flotsam.

If I could sum this release up in one word, it would be "consistent". The consistency lies in the overall delivery of each song, giving off an emo vibe which makes me think of older Brand New and more recent groups like Turnover. The recordings on "Back And Forth" come off as more raw than those bands which gives, I suppose, Among Giants more of an underground basement street cred. Consistency is not a bad thing, but nothing particularly stands out. The opener, "Cats & Ferrets", starts off the EP with the aforementioned vibe and continues throughout. What makes me classify it as emo is the sullen mono-tone voice along with shout-y background vocals that make up each song. Also, downer lyrics like "I'm so lost / this isn't worth it anymore" support that case.

The tracks "Hardwood Floors" and "Art School" follow the same formulas with a guitar intro which immediately drops to drums, bass and vocals in the first part of the verse. The band is tight together and the songs sound well planned out, but it feels like it's missing that one thing to bring it all together. Maybe it's the vocals which give off an uninspired nihilistic attitude, or maybe it's just that I don't feel like it's anything I haven't heard tons of bands do before. The EP closes with the song "The World Is Not My Friend" which is probably the most aggressive song on the album. The guitar starts with a lead that surges into a down-beat of drums and bass. Over and over they yell the title, "The world is not my friend." The band manages to keep the songs short with the tracks hovering around the two minute mark. I feel like if the songs were longer, my interest would wane because none of the tracks are that inventive. With Among Giant's first full-length, 2012's "Truth Hurts", it makes me wonder if they're testing out the waters with this EP before committing to another full length. I'm not too sold on the whole emo revival. I'll revert to the old adage of "Cheer up emo kid, it gets better."