Sound — 9
Los Angeles-based rock quartet Sol Giant have a sound that blends Augustana's melodic-cinched rock with Oasis' propensity for catchy hooks and Keane's sensibilities for 80s sonic club-pop inflections. Sol Giant's latest release, Strangers is a 5-track EP that offers a taste of the band's melodic rock blends. Lead singer/guitarist Eric Nicolau put this band together in 2008, but this is no raw-around-the-edges type of garage-band. Their music is polished and meticulously produced to sound the best that it can with keyboardist Elliot Schwartzman giving the tracks a glossy veneer as bassist Alana Chirino and drummer Rob Humphreys hammer-in the pulsating grooves. For a band that is relatively new at performing together and making albums, they sound better than some of the rock veterans on the market. Catchy guitar licks are interspersed along the melodic movements of Wide Eyed giving the song fluid dynamics that make it stand on its own with a Latin-tinged interlude in the bridge that meshes nicely into the over all fabric. The club mix of Don't You Lie To Me has an 80s new wave-ish vibe with sonic club-pop inflections and stylish trimmings while the folksy tone of the acoustic guitar in Been To The Mountain has a coffeehouse-homespun feel. Where I'm Supposed To Be is garbed in catchy melodic hooks and bopping grooves reminiscent of The Kooks, which segue into an Americana rock mix in the title track that starts out at a slow pumping pace and builds up to a fiery sonic combustion. Sol Giant sound like they know what they are doing and how to make the music that best suits them. It's an excellent effort for a band that is no older than a toddler.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are personable and relationship-based like in Wide Eyed as Nicolau expresses, All I got to say to you is don't look back now / Cause the worst will come back your way Never thought I'd ever see the day / Well, I don't want to be stuck in second place no more You go your way and I'll go mine. The title track continues with this same sentiment, Wake me up / Open my eyes In the end, you did what you had to Why do I waste my time. Audiences can relate to the words and feel like the songs are about their own situation like in Where I'm Supposed To Be as Nicolau recoils, I'm taking it back what I said to you Not cut out for this.
Overall Impression — 9
Sol Giant's songs on Strangers are not made to shock audiences but for people to feel like the songs relate to their lives. Each track is tuneful without sliding into boredom, and individually designed so they don't overlap into each other. If this is what Sol Giant sounds like In the initial stages of their development, they have a great head-start. That is, as long as they are not shot-down in their infancy by the industry. They carved out a place for themselves in melodic rock fabric, and preferably they never lose sight of it.