Finding new pop-punk bands, especially British ones, is always hugely exciting for me as I love seeing how we channel the classic West Coast cheeky sound. Just Like Giants are a recent appearance on my radar and their debut EP Take It Back is a little slice of pop-punk perfection. This quartet from Southampton haven’t been around for a year yet but they already seem to have amassed a small online fanbase and are offering their music for free from their Bandcamp page.
Taking a little bit of New Found Glory’s upbeat demeanour and mixing it with All-American Rejects’ darker angst, they are on the grittier side of pop-punk but their sound is undeniably of the youthful energetic notes that is to be expected of the genre. Take It Back is a great debut as it shows the band’s various sides in just three tracks, which are all strong guitar-led anthems.
Beginning with Enemy, the metallic riffs and melodic vocals start. Just Like Giants’ classic pop-punk flavour shines through but the British accent on the voice brings it home. Full of energy and a tricky instrumental halfway through, it’s clear that these talented musicians know how to show off their skills. Pretty guitar slides echo underneath the vocals as the beating drum brings it to a close. Tackling a tough issue of not really knowing where you stand with someone -“Do you call me enemy?” gives it a serious undertone while not alienating those that have come for a good time. It’s an issue we’ve all dealt with and having that honesty is really important in music that is aimed at a young audience.
In the middle is Stay The Night, a story of unrequited love and the agony of being in the friend zone when you desperately don’t want to be. Again, it’s a topic that people of all ages know well and Just Like Giants have paired it with crashing drums and an upbeat energy. Although the song isn’t ultimately a happy one, the instruments keep you from writing it off as depressing rubbish. An incredibly catchy hook gives it earworm status and the pretty guitar patterns on the instrumental before the final verse are simply genius. It’s probably the most commercial-sounding track on the EP and oozes big hit potential.
Ending on the title track, Take It Back winds it down on a serious bout of regret. The soft melancholy ripples and heartfelt vocals tell of pure remorse at letting someone go. The crashing passionate drums and growling guitar on the chorus add to the drama and this ballad is rounded off with a dark throbbing riff. It stands out on the EP due to its hugely different pace and mood to the other two songs but it effectively shows that Just Like Giants can do both bouncy pop-punk and the sadder slower ballads.
A cracking debut from an exciting new band who show potential to be big hit writers. Just Like Giants are definitely for fans of all things pop-punk done in a unique British way. You’ll dance around your bedroom and sit and reflect with this three-track EP, so it’s perfect for satisfying whatever mood you’re in. Be sure to look out for more from the band!