Giants - Old Stories
Record Label: Cavity Records
Release Date: August 26, 2008
God, do I love transitions; nothing will sucker me into liking a song, or album more. It's one of the reasons I love Moving Mountains and this album by Giants. Each song off of Old Stories seamlessly transitions into the next one. There are not any misplaced gaps, no awkward pauses between songs - most of the time you don't know when the songs end and the new one begins. Everything flows and it's like a river, always moving and never stopping. Brace yourself, for we have a long journey ahead of us. It's time to explore Giants and their newest and spectacular release Old Stories.
The opening track, "Where The Ages Steal," starts off quiet enough, then comes a bouncing melody. If that melody is not enough to make you salivate, just wait till you hear the drums. The repeating 'drum roll' builds up anticipation for something big and only helps solidify the opening melody. What comes next, you ask? A focus on the guitars with another brilliant melody and some lingering distortion ... and then BOOM - a "Caspian like" increase in sound: it gets loud, it gets beautiful, and it gets atmospheric. What a first three minutes.
The next song, "Vessels," picks right up where the aforementioned track leaves off. "Where The Ages Steal" ends with distortion and "Vessels" starts off slowly but picks up, a recurring theme throughout this album. "Vessels," however, lacks that punch that the other songs bring you; although, it acts like a bridge only to get you across the water but leads you to another challenge.
Which, fittingly, is "O Tide." Again, "O Tide" uses the distortion elements shown at the ending of "Vessels." These next few notes, are the most heartfelt on the album. It's like they are speaking, however quietly, their pain. These notes are not happy, they are mournful. They want you to feel their sadness, yet you (the listener) don't feel sad - you feel bright, you feel the pain, but also feel the "sunrise," so to speak. The sun is up, no more dark ... happiness takes over.
With yet another beautiful transition, comes the opening melody of the best song on the album, "Whispering Ears." What is there not to love with the beginning minutes of this song? Again, the listener feels the notes; you feel the raw emotion coming from a simple pluck of the strings. You feel the atmosphere, and what is this feeling? How can one feel this good? "Whispering Ears" brightens my day; it's the sun to my night, the rain to my drought. Thank you Giants.
"Sleeping False Idol" and "Fisherman's Prayer" begin to slow down and only do to signify that the end is in sight. This journey is nearing a close and as sad as that might be, it's needed. One is not made to feel music this much. We need to capture our breath again.
The closing track, "At Last Ashore," again shows you the theme I've been trying to get across, albeit not well, that this is a journey, not a simple listening experience. You will go places, and you will find out about your inner-workings. "At Last Ashore" shows us Giants can use a piano to complement their beautiful melodies and atmospheric surroundings. A hush whisper in the beginning minutes of this song only makes one listen even more closer. Take a deep breath, our journey is over. We've climbed the mountain, we've found out about ourselves, and we've fallen in love with an amazing album.
I, Zeb Currier, am a sucker for beautiful transitions and enthralling melodies. I admit my addiction; however, I am not sad nor displeased at all. I am, in fact, proud; proud to bring you this review and proud to bring you along on this journey of mine. This album highlights such transitions, and beautiful melodies that only lead to my furthering love of these two best musical aspects. Thank you Giants.