Young The Giant – Mind Over Matter

by Tom Elliott

As I sat reviewing Young The Giant’s sophomore record, Mind Over Matter, I found myself frantically bopping my head in the Forum library, unaware of my rocking chair and intermittent murmurs of the infectious melodies that this record is drenched in. The California five-piece have returned with a well-crafted, feel-good LP that sees the band attempt to strengthen their claim as a leading light in the next generation of US rock bands.

For much of the record, Young The Giant have upped the tempo and turned up the volume, producing songs reminiscent of the exceptional My Body, the stand-out track from their eponymous first album. The fusion of strong vocal melodies, an understanding of modern pop songwriting, and an incredible knack for memorable riffs is exemplified in highlight tracks Teenagers, Crystallized and Mind Over Matter. Expect these songs to become fan favourites in the very near future.

At their best, Young The Giant are not afraid to experiment. The golden moments when the band jump between time signatures, mix up layering and vary the dynamics really set the record alight. This experimental approach to songwriting still maintains strong choruses and melodies but is only present in small bouts throughout the record. Dare I say it, at the top of their game, Mind Over Matter reminds me of the latest Biffy Clyro releases.

Unfortunately, the album slips back into conventional polished production that wouldn’t be out of place in a teen coming-of-age film. The songs are brilliant, the talent is ever-present, and this is a band that I have no doubt will keep on growing. Fingers crossed that in the future, they’ll find the bravery to wipe off some of that production polish and go for guts instead of gloss.