Young the Giant
Young the Giant


4.0
excellent

Review

by Caleb McAlpine USER (109 Reviews)
October 28th, 2010 | 95 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It’s not time to burn down Orange County yet.

To be honest, I refuse to acknowledge that Young the Giant are from Newport Beach. If I made a list of things worth hating in the world, bet your bottom dollar that just above dirty Torontonian air and soggy cereal would sit Orange County. Sure, it’s naive to assume after watching an episode of Laguna Beach that everybody there is an uppity, orange-skinned valley girl with as much depth as a puddle but rest assured, once you’ve paid the area a visit, you’ll be clambering to get out. This is why it’s such an internal struggle for me to betray myself and tell you that Young the Giant’s debut album, despite coming from the yuckiest place in the USA, is probably the catchiest, most confident indie rock album you’ll hear this year. Sure, it might not have the sexy strings of Ra Ra Riot’s The Orchard, the warbly vocals of Frightened Rabbit’s The Winter of Mixed Drinks or the oh-my-god-you’re-zooey-deschanel irresistibility of She & Him’s Volume Two, but it has what each of these other albums wishes they could have in spades: lasting power. Not just flair and creativity; confidence. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal; Young the Giant is Orange County’s get-out-of-jail-free card for 2010 and I’ll personally award the band with it if I get to pretend they come from Canada.

Now if you have no idea who the hell Young the Giant are, let me be the first to tell you that they used to be a band called The Jakes. Now, because you still have no idea who the hell Young the Giant are, let me tell you: they should’ve been on your radar a long time ago. They should’ve been a lot of radars. See, Young the Giant wear their influences on their sleeves but never seem unoriginal or dishonest; they always sound like their own band. Take, for instance, the track ‘Garands’: it’s 60% Coldplay, 20% Kings of Leon and 20% Maroon 5 but at the very same time, it’s 100% Young the Giant. Weird, eh? Or how about a song like the amiable ‘Your Side’? It has a harmless, effective groove straight from the books of Ra Ra Riot but still sounds distinctly honest and personal. Don’t ask me how they do it, but Young the Giant never seem incapable of personalising and making their music their own out of pieces of the music they love; Young the Giant is an expression of the love for music the band has and their desire to reciprocate that love. So remember, it’s not a parasitic relationship; nobody’s getting ripped off: it’s mutualistic.

And if you were one of the lucky few people who heard the band’s EP Shake My Hand way back in 2008, you’ll be happy to hear that despite the (stupid) name change, nothing else has made a turn for the worse. The groovy drumming is still around, the catchy-as-hell melodies are in tact, the band unity is stronger than ever and Shake My Hand’s token hit ‘Cough Syrup’ even pays a visit to Young the Giant (this time, with cellos!). And while it’s surely impressive how well the band gels together on tracks like slide-guitar opener ‘My Body’ and the poppy ‘I Got’, it’s hard to discredit vocalist Sameer Gadhia’s as the cog that keeps the machine running. What separates Young the Giant from pop-in-2010’s best work is the fact that not only are they instrumentally solid, they also have a damn fine vocalist that keeps you utterly and entirely captivated. Whether he does that in his smooth falsetto in the ambient ‘Islands’, with his aggressive and infectious voice in ‘My Body’ or with his low and sexy vocal fry in the chorus of ‘Apartment’, Sameer Gadhia ropes in the listener with his deliberate melodies and makes the songs soar with his arena-ready choruses and bizarre inflection (where the hell is he from anyway?).

But in the end, let’s tally up the marks. Can one great Orange County indie rock album in 2010 negate an entire God-given year filled with unapologetically spoiled and promiscuous beach culture? You’d be hard-pressed to get me to answer “well, yeah” without having made me listen to Young the Giant. So, if you’re feeling graceful, guilty (depending on your location) or if you’re simply just in the mood to hear some absolutely bangin’, tightly knit, catchy indie rock because you love the hell out of music, Young the Giant will probably serve you well. California finally wants to love you. Let’s love it back.



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user ratings (243)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Zackary Bratton (3.5)
"Oh what a pretty high note where you run to, I'll go glistening. I should never know that you were ...

kevin234 (3)
Young the Giant's album i decent with a few standout songs....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
October 28th 2010


11461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

[img]http://rlv.zcache.com/i_heart_california_lifestyle_hat-p148391224813135085tdto_210.jpg[/img]

uhh so YES

aresx
October 28th 2010


307 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

god dam*mit you've got me interested beyond belief.
listening to samples on iTunes right now. its reallyyyy good

Xenophanes
Emeritus
October 28th 2010


10662 Comments


Superb work, and it sounds interesting as well.

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry

Waior
October 28th 2010


11461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

sweet stuff, sirs. try the stream around heeeere

stream: http://www.purevolume.com/youngthegiant



StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 28th 2010


3780 Comments


Nice

SeaAnemone
October 28th 2010


20939 Comments


Caleb writing a review?!

I am surprised as I am pleased, and this sounds awesome

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

KnuckleChowder
October 28th 2010


157 Comments


I've just stopped reading Indie reviews on this site, too much fanboyism. Not every Indie album is at least a 4. Also, I totally hate soggy cereal too.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
October 28th 2010


24090 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

zomg Caleb is back

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

couldwinarabbit
October 28th 2010


6996 Comments


"60% Coldplay" it is sad that this alone makes me not want to get the album.

great review...will probably check this out.

SeaAnemone
October 28th 2010


20939 Comments


Not every Indie album is at least a 4.

yeah and not every review makes every indie album to be a 4... BRO... STEP OFF!

klap
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


10576 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

my girlfriend is from huntington i'm offended by this review

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


17228 Comments


saw these guys with Minus the Bear and Everest in May. they seemed nice.

deepintheorchard
October 28th 2010


644 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Orange County is great.

Waior
October 28th 2010


11461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

my girlfriend is from huntington i'm offended by this review


sorry about that

apartment is a good enough song to pardon that though

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2010


17228 Comments


orange county: where everyone is rich and white like god intended.

tbh I never really go there except for shows/beaches/sports

xfearbefore
October 28th 2010


1246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So this is pretty freaking awesome, listening to it now. "My Body" is insanely catchy. Track listing is wrong though, according to iTunes atleast:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/young-the-giant/id394992805



Digging: The Smoking Popes - Get Fired

thebhoy
Emeritus
October 28th 2010


4461 Comments


soggy cereal is the pits

Flyboy
October 28th 2010


395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Saw these dudes in May with Minus the Bear. They had great stage present and irresistible hooks. Listening to the album now and the first song is gravy. Very nice mellow music.

Flyboy
October 28th 2010


395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0


"60% Coldplay" it is sad that this alone makes me not want to get the album.

great review...will probably check this out.


This is better than all of Coldplay's discog combined together.

TMobotron
Contributing Reviewer
October 29th 2010


7159 Comments


listening to the stream right now, loving the opener.



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