Lungs of a Giant, Headfirst Handshakes

Lungs of  a Giant, Headfirst Handshakes

Although Lungs of a Giant aren’t new on the indie-rock scene, their new self-released album Headfirst Handshakes sounds like a first effort, and that’s not so great.

Maybe I’m biased by a low tolerance for yelpy singing and excessive use of cymbals (both of which are pretty much trademarks of the album), but listening to even just one song from the album is tedious. Between the generic and flat synth to the overly simplistic guitars, there’s little to recommend this album. While I like the energy of the album, the unpolished and unvarying songs just can’t evoke any real emotions or interest.

Genre-wise, Headfirst Handshakes fits between the roots-rock sound of bands like My Morning Jacket and Pavement and the unrestrained folk-punk of Defiance, Ohio. Only you don’t get the quality songwriting and polished sound of any of those bands.

Cut out about a minute of rambling instrumental breaks (full of slow drums and strummed chords) from each song, and you might have something listenable. For now, each song feels half-finished, capped off with some jam-band-ish filler.

The awkward and random high-school-poet lyrics, especially in the entirely too long “The Killing Song” and “Shadow of a Midget Horseman,” don’t help. Attempts to sound poppy come across as strained, and the attempts at swaying anthems are just boring.

Though I really hate to give a bad review to a band that seems, from their website, to be a group of really decent people, I really can’t recommend this one. Once they polish their delivery and create more interesting guitar and synth riffs, though, I would definitely give them another listen.

(self-released; Lungs of a Giant -- http://www.lungsofagiant.com/)
BUY ME: CDBaby

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, October 5th, 2010. Filed under Reviews.

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