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Non-Prog CD Reviews

I Am Giant

Science & Survival

Review by Gary Hill

This album lands in an alternative rock territory. There are variants within that concept, though. Nothing here is Earth shattering and there is only so much variety contained on the disc. It’s really a testament to the quality of this stuff, though, that it’s exceptionally entertaining from start to finish. These guys aren’t breaking any drastically new ground, but they do it so well that you can’t complain.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Guéthary

Featuring a tolling bell, this is a short atmospheric and cinematic introductory piece. It runs straight into the next number.        

Echo from the Gallows
Hard edged and energetic, this has a real alternative rock vibe to it. The vocal arrangement is exceptional and there are some great hooks on this cut.      
Razor Wire Reality
Bass leads this one out of the gate. It’s not far removed from the previous tune, but somehow it’s even more mainstream and accessible. The ending section is particularly heavy and that bell returns near the end.
Death of You
The atmospheric elements that start this come from the ending of the previous piece and also include the bell. The music rises up from there in an energetic, but more stripped back, mellower arrangement.
Ça vous derange
This piece is essentially an atmospheric instrumental. It’s a bit strange, but also very cool.    
Transmission
We’re back into the hard edged modern alternative rock sound. This is another catchy one that’s very strong.         
Out of Date Hallucination
The hard rocking groove on this is among the best of the set. The vocal arrangement stands out as particularly special, too. This is a killer tune. It might be my favorite here.
Silhouette
Although in some ways this even heavier, keyboards lend a bit of an airy vibe. The vocal performance is more pop oriented, too. There’s a cool, almost jazzy drop back, too. This is actually one of the tastier pieces here. They up the heavy even more on the closing section.
Dragging the Slow Dance Out
This is a much mellower cut. It’s melodic and rather proggy in a lot of ways.
Miss Seattle
Mellow and atmospheric, this features spoken female vocals. It’s essentially a transition piece.      
Minefield
The atmospherics from the previous one start this off. Then it pounds in with a killer high energy riff that really rocks. The piece isn’t a big surprise. Rather it’s another effective slab of the kind of modern alternative rock that these guys do so well.
Standing on the Sun (And I Like the View)
Although this is definitely not very different from the rest of the stuff here, it’s strong enough to avoid feeling stale or redundant.
Bought with Ignorance. Sold with Arrogance
That bell is back on the atmospheric introduction here. As other elements are added, there is a real progressive rock element at play. This piece is nearly twelve and a half minutes in length. It is quite a dynamic one work through a lot of different modes. Modern progressive rock would be a valid classification, but this is still rooted in the same alternative rock that dominates the disc.
 
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