California quintet Young The Giant follow up their self-titled debut with their first record for Fueled By Ramen, home to the likes of Paramore and Panic! At The Disco. The band are currently on a gargantuan tour of their homeland, which will see them on the road through to the beginning of October.
Given that their label has a roster of punk-rockers, you would be forgiven for approaching Young The Giant with that kind of expectation but, after an irrelevant intro track, 'Anagram' instead introduces a pop-rock band featuring the very smooth vocal talents of Sameer Gadhia. Whilst the track itself doesn't particularly stand out, his soulful voice certainly makes an impression and shows adaptability for the heavier 'It's About Time'.
A tepid start gets blown away by the unashamed pop melody of 'Crystallized'; a sweet summer anthem that commands a place your head. Unfortunately, this proves to be an early peak for 'Mind Over Matter', although the title track and recent single is a shimmering slice of cool demonstrating that Young The Giant are capable of sweeping numbers.
Far too much of the remainder is forgettable if not unlistenable, with 'Firelight' lacking a hook in its stripped-down approach and 'In My Home' lacking the quality to match the admirable energy it has. Even the safe ground of 'Teachers' - spritely guitar work and big chorus present - lack the inspiration required for repeated listens; an unfortunately re-occurring feeling as each subsequent track plays through. The early enjoyable moments hint that there could be a good album in Young The Giant, but they won't produce it unless they consistently nail down the better aspects of their songwriting.
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