Home Of The Strange

Young The Giant

Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic, 2016

http://www.youngthegiant.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/29/2016

What the HELL has happened to Young The Giant?

As I sit here writing this, doped up on Vicodin after an attack of kidney stones, I wonder how such a great band got so bland. The California band’s last record, 2014’s Mind Over Matter, was one of the best discs of the year, full of great songs and a really great mellow vibe. While this record shows the band deciding to experiment and stretching their musical muscle a bit, aside from a few tracks, it’s one of the biggest duds of 2016.

Lead single “Amerika” is a great song, harkening back to what drew me to the band in the first place: great melodies and, of course, Sameer Gadhia’s awe-inspiring vocals. Unfortunately, the rest of the record doesn’t quite hit the same heights.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Something To Believe In” is a slow jam that doesn’t go anywhere. It just falls flat and doesn’t have the same ‘it factor’ that made “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment” so damn catchy. “Elsewhere” is a damn dance track, something I didn’t really want from a band like this. When did they start trying to sound like Fun. or Panic At The Disco? Oh, that’s right, when they signed to Fueled By Ramen, where they make every band sound radio-ready and squeaky clean to sell to the kids at Hot Topic. Only “Titus Was Born” is as close as the band gets to their former glory, a song that makes them sound like their old selves.

“Jungle Youth” sounds like bland alt rock from the early 2000s. It’s been done before. There’s really nothing here that grabs the listener like “Camera” or “Teachers,” and that’s a sad state of affairs for such a great group. “Repeat” sounds like a track that would do great on college radio right alongside Imagine Dragons or Bastille, but this isn’t the Young The Giant I fell in love with.

“Art Exhibit” is the only other decent track, but it leads into “Nothing’s Over,” another damn dance track. I’m all for stretching out creatively, but in today’s environment, we barely have enough real alternative rock bands left, and now we’ve lost another one to damn keyboards. Leave the keyboard stuff to Neon Trees, X Ambassadors, Grouplove, and all these other generic bands with multiple producers and songwriters. Give us REAL alternative rock again, PLEASE!!

Ultimately, my hopes weren’t very high for this record once I heard “Something To Believe In,” and those expectations were lowered even more because this is just one of the most bitterly disappointing records I’ve heard in a good long while.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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