Review Summary: There, There "There, There"For Giants
, the "long distance" prog-metal outfit from Brooklyn and Chicago, make a point of starting out their 2021 in true m/
fashion, churning out a rather large number of riffs with There, There
. As its opener "Being" roars to life - jolting forwards with thicc
, technical chugging and soaring lead melodies - you get the sense that you're in for a real treat, anticipating a truly no holds barred riff-fest of epic, unadulterated proportions (finally!). With great riffs, however, comes great responsibility, and despite There, There's
encouraging opening moments, the duo fail to deliver the spectacle expected.
For all the admirable musicianship and competent songwriting present on There, There
, there's little here capable of meaningfully distinguishing For Giants
from the multitude of groups operating in the same lane. It's admittedly no easy task to carve one's own unique path through such a crowded subgenre of metal - the likes of Polyphia
being amongst the few to have successfully done so as of late - yet for all their technical prowess and apparent ambition, it almost feels as if For Giants
Whilst almost certainly not true, this lack of effort at least appears
apparent due to just how well-trodden the trail down which For Giants
travel is: one defined by its safe and (dare I say) self-indulgent nature. Very few of the instrumental passages that constitute There, There
seem intended to contribute towards something greater than themselves, existing in isolation as showcases for individual musicianship rather than forming a larger, multifaceted whole greater than the sum of its parts. Indeed, despite the extent to which Eric Lowrey and Earl Lee play off each others instrumentation, the constituent parts of There, There
feel oddly disconnected - symptomatic, perhaps, of the physical distance between each half of the duo, or maybe the lack of space left by Eric for Earl and Earl for Eric. The riffage here is incessant, the concept of pacing unfortunately absent from For Giants
expansive musical repertoire.
Worse than failing to stand out from the crowd, the members of For Giants often struggle to distinguish themselves from themselves. The grandiose "Church" - with its noodly lead motifs and tentative, airy backdrop - sounds strikingly similar to "The Lucky Ones", whilst the staccato chugging of "What Happened To You" mirrors up with the similarly jagged "How To Die". Whilst you'd think such repetition would go some way to rectifying the project's lack of cohesion, it instead imparts it with the character of characterlessness, the record’s deeper cuts smacking of less interesting renditions of its best moments.
The thing is - when assessed on a strictly mechanical level - There, There
is exceptional: the playing is tight, the songcraft is tighter, and it has all clearly been put together with a whole lot of labour and love. What's lacking is that elusive, creative spark, necessary to take the duo beyond the tired hallmarks of the genre in which they reside to new, more exciting pastures. For your quick fix of m/
, For Giants'
latest endeavour is more than passable, but for something truly engaging, look elsewhere than There, There