The two new songs from IC faves Among Giants on this split with Aspiga turn over a new leaf for the band. AG has been mostly an acoustic-punk band (with the notable exception of the screamy “There Is a Ghost“) until 36 seconds into “In the Jungle,” where the drummer hits a downbeat and a crunchy distorted guitar line crashes in. Rhythmically the song remains an Among Giants tune, with a lot of staccato hits and separated notes. Greg Hughes’ speak-sing delivery is also retained until the very end, where he cranks it up to a ragged scream for emphasis.
That ragged scream warms up the listener for “I Care About Everyone I Meet,” which is a straight-up punk-rock tune. The only thing that connects “I Care” to Among Giants’ back catalog is the positive lyrics present in both. The song is strong and enjoyable as a punk song, but even the rhythmic style of the tune has a whole different feel. I like both of these tunes a lot, but this might signal the end of acoustic-heavy tunes like “A Letter” and “Get Your Shit Straight.” Alas, nothing stays the same but change. Here’s to the new sound of Among Giants.
It fits that they’re splitting with Aspiga, a gruff, tough, gritty pop-punk band. Both Aspiga tunes feature metallic bass tone, chunky guitar riffs, and tense moods. I’m not a huge fan of screaming in punk songs (that’s ultimately why I ended up writing an indie-pop blog, after growing up on pop-punk), but Aspiga does it tastefully in “Direction.” They bust out a synthesizer for “Old Hobbies,” which impressed me a ton and took me back to 2003. Their half of the split is fun and enjoyable for fans of the genre, although long-time readers of IC may not be into something so gritty and tough. You can pick up the 7″ over at Say-10 Records, or stream the full thing.