Giants - Old Stories (2009)
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge post rock/metal fan. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate all the skill and talent that goes into it, but on the whole it's pretty much lost on me. That doesn't go for all of it though, I do love a bit of Crippled Black Phoenix, Pelican, If These Trees Could Talk and Caspian to name just a few. But these guys are by far my favourites and this record has now become my quintessential go to chill out material.
I was first introduced to Giants by my mate Rich who slid me the album across his counter when I swung by his record store and asked him to give me something new and worth checking out. It looked interesting and Rich's pitch was more than positive and besides, I'm a complete sucker for unique and unusual wax so needless to say it found it's way home with me. I got back, chucked it on and dropped the needle. My first impression was that it was amazingly mellow and very well produced but admittedly it didn't really sweep me off my feet. I don't know why or what exactly I was expecting, but none the less I still really dug it and it stayed in my collection. Some time later I passed it on to fellow writers on here Andy and my brother, both of which (especially my bro) absolutely loved it. Their initial impressions sparked my interest and curiosity once again and I slapped the LP back on my turntable. Despite being nestled in my collection for a good 6 months or so it instantly felt completely new. Maybe my initial listening experience was marred some what by my mood or was interrupted by something going on. I'm not sure, but even whats probably now nigh on a 100 plus listens in, it still doesn't fail to wow me. Sure may fall under the category of 'shoegaze' (another term I honestly can't get to grips with) but in a nerdy kind of way I tend to think of it like a modern day take of classical. Entirely instrumental, a bit like a toned down Pelican, Giants end product often tends to feel like its shares more in common with the likes of Chopin or Bach with regards to their composition and power to evoke an emotion. Pretty impressive really and not too bad for few young chaps from Iowa - and really nice guys to boot, having corresponded with James from the band on quite a few occasions. They've gone out of their way to help me out in one form or another on more than one occasion.
I have to say, since being rediscovered, this record has barely been slipped back into my archive, instead opting to be propped up against my hifi stand for regular and easy access. Theres not a lot of albums in my collection that can boast that accolade. Needless to say really can't urge you more to go out and buy this album, if not on vinyl (which may be a little tricky to find now) on cd, as a bog standard download just doesn't do it justice, plus the guys are soon to be starting work on brand new material for a either a 7" or new LP, so hit them up with a few bucks and make getting it recorded a whole lot easier.
Label - Cavity Records
Pressing Info - 600 copies. 350 Yellow w/green & black splatter, 150 Green w/white haze, 50 Transparent white w/blue haze & screen printed 'Ocean' cover (Friends and family press), 50 Transparent white w/blue haze & screen printed 'Forest' cover (Tour press)
Price - £18/$20 - £50/$75
For Fans Of; Explosions In The Sky, Caspian, Omega Massif, Blueneck, Russian Circles