Any time a band takes over three years to release a new album, there’s a chance they could get forgotten. So if you take over twenty years between albums, then your return can only signal a rebirth. When Giants Chair hung things up over twenty years ago, it largely went unnoticed because so much was happening at the time. The rise of emo in the wake of Kurt Cobain’s passing meant that many bands went under the radar of the typical music press. Now after twenty three years Giants Chair is back with Prefabylon and the album picks up pretty much where the band ended. Full of emo tinged indie rock, the band sounds refreshed while still holding pieces of their former selves without sounding dated.
What’s immediately noticeable with this album, is that the band’s penchant for twang tuned notes hasn’t gone away. The opening track “Rust Belt Rooster” has all the markings of what made the band so infectious twenty years ago. The melodious notes that are pinned above the squeal of feedback draws your attention to the band’s off-kilter approach. That approach and difference is what set the band apart originally and it still rings true today. Not a throwback, but more of a born again tone, the song sets the stage for what’s next.
While songs like “Dirty Winter” and “Kids Running” will stick with you due to their hook filled structure. And tracks like “Ghost Love” and “Time Lapse Shadows” show a band that’s coming from a new place. The way these songs are arranged alone is different from the bulk of the indie rock that’s coming out today. The down tuned notes that bookmark the chorus’ falls on your ears perfectly while setting the band on their own plane. Of the ten tracks our favorite came with “Russian Racehorse.” Straightforward and without compromise, the song is snappy and quick and sounds like three guys recording live with little overdubs. And in many ways, that’s what made the band memorable in the first place.
Prefabylon is available on a limited edition milky white and red dotted vinyl from Spartan Records. It can also be purchased digitally in all digital music stores or streamed on all streaming platforms. There are no scheduled performances for Giants Chair, though that should change in the new year.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Spartan Records.