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Southbound Beat Magazine



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CD Review Under The Influence Of Giants

Under The Influence of Giants - self titled

Reviewed By Scott Homewood

By giants, this band must mean every single hitmaking act since 1968. I mean, familiar licks abound, almost begging you and your friends to play spot the influence. To my surprise, they even feature some straight ahead disco/dance-type grooves of the type Prince would be proud. But don't let that sway you away from this album because most of the tunes are in the sunny pop vein of Fountains of Wayne, Brendan Benson and the like. A sleeper album from last year, as summer hits I predict this record is going to be in for a revival amongst fans of catchy pop with fun summertime grooves.
Since 2000 the derivative-yet-fun band has been plying it's cock rock trade, although the two main songwriters Aaron Bruno (vocals) and Drew Stewart (guitarist) had a taste of pop rock stardom a few years earlier as part of the Maverick Records act Home Town Hero. Drummer/keyboardist Jamin Wilcox has also had more than a taste of the rock and roll life as his dad is John 'Willie' Wicox, drummer with Todd Rundgren's band Utopia. Possibly the first band to make their name by way of Myspace, the group was able to get the word out and eventually got signed because of their page on the site.
Make no mistake, this album is not a classic that people will be writing about years from now. It is a trashy, glammy, immediate slice of summer music you will want to play in your car stereo as you're rushing from club to club or at a backyard
beer bash where you and your friends can sing along drunkenly. But, that's not to down this record, not at all. There is nothing wrong with disposable pop music, especially when it's played this well. Sleazy rock and roll has always had its' place and this band has the chops to make the sleazy seem just a little sleazier whilst lighting up dance floors everywhere with their music. This album may not be remembered in ten years, but you'll have a hell of a good time listening to it until you forget about it.
Under The Influence of Giants' pop-funk will appeal to those who enjoy the current state of pop radio but who also want a little bit of eclecticism. The kind of people who like a catchy rock tune but also don't mind some slippery funk to go along with it. Think Justin Timberlake with balls or Fountains of Wayne with Bootsy Collins playing bass.


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