A lot has changed with Among Giants since I last wrote about them back in 2012. The most noticeable change has been in the overall delivery in the music. Truth Hurts seemed like a record trying to find a voice. It fluctuated between full band, and (basically) solo songs. It was very much a record built around folk punk. Back And Forth has more or less shed that particular influence in favor of a more straight forward, melodic punk rock sound. As a full band, Among Giants has kept one thing going from the previous release. That thing is the heart.
It’s hard to view the changes as either good or bad. As a preference, I am certainly more fond of the full band direction. I’ve never been a huge proponent of folk punk, and this new EP is certainly a lot more my speed. It builds upon what they did on the intermediary releases. While the 7″ and the split with Aspiga also had more of a folk punk vibe, it was clear that it was just one facet of what was possible. As a final release, Back And Forth is consistent in a few senses. It is consistent with the growth of the band, and consistent as a cohesive record.
The tone of the record is set right away with “Cats & Ferrets.” It opens with a muted guitar riff that is reminiscent of other bands from Florida.The remaining three songs build on it, and get more aggressive sounding as the EP proceeds. Musically, it’s solid as fuck. There are a few sticking points, and it echoes what happened on their full length. It can get a bit repetitive. The songs are more or less structured the same, especially on “Hardwood Floors” and “Art School.” This isn’t really a major issue, as they maintain a good energy throughout the entire running time. It definitely has it’s hooks in you by the time “The World Is Not My Friend” rolls around.
This will serve as a good introduction to the band. It’s a solid release that shows a continued growth. Among Giants are still a young band finding out how to express their voice. I remain, as ever, very interested to see where they go next. Right now they are a band that plays a great bit of Florida, melodic punk. That may change a bit in the future. But, there is certainly not anything wrong with that.