The DIY scene here in the UK has been thriving over the past few years with bands like Gnarwolves, Milk Teeth and Muskets all doing great things. Giants have slowly been building up their reputation with their high octane live shows and hands on approach. Now is the time for all the hard work to show and to finally pay off. Debut record ‘Break The Cycle’ is literally make or break time for the London/Essex quintet.
‘Underachievers’ sparks into life after a slow build and gets straight into the hardcore punk that we’ve come to know and love from Giants. The riffs are meaty whilst there’s melody in the clean and backing vocals which hook you in to the song. ‘I’m Not Around’ never takes its foot off the pedal and runs through everything in its path courtesy of a relentless rhythm section. ‘Our Own Enemy’ provides a bleak lyrical concept whilst ‘Against The Grain’, the records first single obliterates the previous cuts with a snotty attitude and skate punk riffin’ heaven. The vocal changeover is one of the albums highlights, unexpected yet brilliantly executed.
Pulling no punches is the rapid fire ‘Eastbound’, clocking in at under the two minute mark which is the same as the title track, another snippet of angst ridden ferocity. It’s not all about the power and hatred though, ‘Did It Mean So Much To You’ has anthemic qualities with huge sounding gang vocals whilst ‘Misguided’ follows in similar fashion with another dose of melody and adrenaline. “Teenage dreams, they are just that” cries out with poignancy and is one of many memorable lyrical highlights. There really is very little let up on Break The Cycle which starts to wear by the time ‘Resignation’ rolls around with the same formula and layout being used time and time again.
‘Another Day, Another Year’ is still urgent in its process but speeds up to make it stand out and become more vital to the songwriting. Piss and vinegar is the order of the day when ‘It’s Not All Bad News’ comes steamrolling through with another hook laden vocal performance. Comparisons to Rise Against spring to mind during ‘Evergreen’ with a downbeat tone and mid tempo pace, allowing for a few massive sounding “woah oh-oh, woah oh-ooh” gang vocals. Closer ‘I’ve Been Low’ gets us back on the dirty and unwavering path of gruff skate punk. This is a great start for Giants who have taken their time to hone their craft and release a plethora of attitude filled and venomous cuts. (7/10)
‘Break The Cycle’ was released 1st April via Holy Roar Records
Written by Joshua Clarke (@jpclarke91)