Luckily though, what’s to be found under the artwork, is anything but a turd. No doubt, that will be no consolation to We Were Giants for having turds mentioned thrice in this review. Sorry lads.
Colm O’Loughlin, Ste O’Loughlin and Danny Farrelly are Dublin’s first former giants. ‘Part One’ is their aptly-named first EP, and a strong one at that.
Don’t let the delicate opening to Vampires lull you into a false sense of security. Anyone increasing the volume thinking the quality is bad, are in for a deafening shock. The raspy opener is delivered with a quivering guitar and bubbling synths that suit Colm O’Loughlin’s vocals to a tee. He delivers a pop-punk chime, and the distinct feeling that this track belongs on a teen movie soundtrack. But even then, it’s less than this track deserves. A sophisticated melody actually wants to lead the song somewhere, side-stepping any accusations of a generic, or indeed juvenile, sound. Think; the ramblings of a five-minute Arcade Fire track, if they went a little ska. With its ups-and-downs, there’s a lot more to this track than it wants you to believe, evident in the hidden tinge of an ambient, new wave influence.
Not slowing the pace, She Said maintains an upbeat vocal, solidifying the Arcade Fire comparisons, while sounding completely unlike Arcade Fire. It’s more, Arcade Fire, painted over with a matte layer of My Chemical Romance, slamming some Foo fighting riffs. Their influences are worn on their sleeves, but Part One is far from a sloppy exercise in imitation. O’Loughlin’s voice simply has the unique quality of echoing a collage of his contemporaries–listen out for a voice and you’ll hear a hint of it.
The Messenger is slower, with clearer vocals over a dust of simple guitar. O’Loughlin’s voice shows its true range, while rough, swaying harmonies bring a welcome mix-up within the EP, until it quickly picks the pace up towards the end of the song. Much of the lyrical content deals with the typical young adult stuff: separation, love (although falling in love with the message when ‘you’ were the sender is way harsh). In a similar lull, is Acoustic Song, sticking to the ‘plainly named’ protocol–it’s exactly that, an acoustic song, with nothing much else to it. ‘Oooohs’ are scattered over playschool-esque keyboard, like teardrops on a xylophone, falling under sentimental lyrics and the insincerity of a high-pitched vocal.
Closer WarWren is more like it. The angry, atmospheric storm draws comparisons to peers, More Than Conquerors—both heavily influenced by similar bands. There’s a build-up that doesn’t really go anywhere, but just waiting for the ‘anywhere’ is part of the appeal. Rich layering of riffs and a trusty breakdown, ends the EP on a note of authority and confidence.
It’s crazy to think that this wasn’t professionally produced. While there’s nothing entirely innovative in ‘Part One’, this collection is catchy and pleasant enough to enable We Were Giants to begin to scratch at your radar.
Now, where’s Part Two?