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Under the Influence of Giants (Bonus Track)

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Album Review

Some things aren't meant to last. Ice cream, for example, or sunsets. And for the summer of 2006, Under the Influence of Giants' self-titled debut. It's a fun, slightly trashy affair meant for those months in which all you want to do it turn up the fan, turn down the lights, and have a good time. This doesn't mean that it's not a musically sound album, however. UTIOG, who incorporate disco and dance into their slickly produced rock, are ready (and willing) to provide an hour's worth of short-lived entertainment. And It doesn't hurt that the bandmembers are all very proficient on their instruments, either. The drums, fuzzy bass, and guitar create a good, danceable groove, occasional horns add a Peter Gabriel feel, and singer Aaron Bruno's versatile voice moves from a falsetto to a growl to a croon without any apparent strain — displayed particularly well in "Got Nothing," with its transition from the Jamiroquai-esque harmonies of the chorus to the Modest Mouse-inspired background yells all layered over seamless white-boy funk. And while most of the album — including "Mama's Room," the song that propelled UTIOG to the MySpace Top Eight charts around the country — stays in this realm, the band's musicianship is shown clearly in its ability to take on other styles, all while retaining the sleaziness that makes them so great. "Heaven Is Full" and "In the Clouds" are both pretty close to being club anthems, while "Stay Illogical" and "I Love You" move away from the keyboards and focus on warm, poppy melodies and hooks. The only place where Under the Influence of Giants falters is on "Lay Me Down," which, while it isn't bad, sounds far too much like a generic, radio-friendly song that, while it may have a longer shelf life, has none of that great, immediate satisfaction that the rest of the album is able to provide, and that we're all just begging to hear. So enjoy it while it's around, and think fondly of it when it inevitably goes away.

Customer Reviews

BeeGees for the teenage girls of today!

On the outside, this band is the same of any pop bands these days, going after that easy-to-get demographic of teenage girls, but on the inside, there lies a new band that reflects some of the best psychedelic rock qualities of the BeeGees, the Beatles, Talking Heads (Fear of Music, Remain in Light era), and, of course, the pop of the 80s. While most of today's alternative rock has been whiny, emo crap, UTIOG finally catches a unique sound with lyrics that aren't about cutting yourself or how his girlfriend ruined his life. While Mama's Room is a great song, it's not the best for me, it's Got Nothing, In the Clouds, and Stay Illogical that really capture my attention. The album starts off great, but loses its steam towards the end, but for $8 (at Best Buy, too), who can complain for something so good?


Really shocking to hear a debut album that is so well put together! Really enjoy all the tracks, and you can tell the group is really willing to try different things, and use their different musical influences together. The band truely is being influenced by greats like The Beatles, The Bee Gees, and Prince, amoung others. Highly recommended!

Amazing Album.

This album is awesome, its so enjoyable and the melodies are infectious. I would say so much more but much of the reviews already explained what made this album awesome. All i can say is get the album, you won't be dissapointed! This is the band you need to be on the lookout for!


Formed: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Taking inspiration from big-name acts like the Beatles, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, the Bee Gees, and Prince (to spout just a few), the aptly named Under the Influence of Giants emerged from southern California in the early 2000s. The group was praised early on -- especially after the release of its debut single, "Mama's Room," in mid-2006 -- for its smooth combination of rock and pop with a funk-edged groove. Vocalist Aaron Bruno and guitarist Drew Stewart had been writing songs together...
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