Among Giants are a emo-esque post-hardcore collective whose debut album Truth Hurts was released back in 2012. I got my hands on the album sometime last year, and really enjoyed the blunt lyrics and personal atmosphere. Since then, they released a handful of split 7″s, but there second complete project Back and Forth just dropped in April. Enjoy.
Compared to Truth Hurts, Back and Forth is a very different sounding Among Giants. They’ve grown. There’s more attention to detail: heavier use of electric guitar, expressive drums, added background vocals, and an overall more polished sound. The songs feel heavier, and there’s more to listen to. The drums and guitar on “The World is Not My Friend” are fast and abrasive; they add angst to the already uneasy message. On “Art School,” Greg Hughes guitar during the verse is very similar to those off of Truth Hurts, but because he’s using a more distorted electric guitar, they’re injected with an extra punch.
But, this thicker and fuller sound is double edged sword. The songs on Back and Forth don’t come off as personal as they were on Truth Hurts. Because there’s more to listen to, you’re distracted from Hughes’ vocals, and his once piercing lyrics don’t have quite the same effect. Another gripe I have is with some of the less-than-memorable guitar melodies. “Hardwood Floors” is a good example. The opening riff sounds like a reused Rise Against guitar melody, and I think the song would have sounded much better without it.
Overall, I have mixed feelings about Back and Forth. It’s nice to hear from Among Giants again, and they’ve released a couple of solid tracks here, but I miss the highly emotive feel of Truth Hurts. This EP tries for that same ethos, but is over-shadowed by the instrumentation.