The sophomore LP from local rock heavyweights I Am Giant retains territory in brilliantly crafted heavy rock with pop sensibility, while expanding further into progressive, experimental realms.
Lyrically fatalistic, sonically expansive and underpinned by a rhythm section so robust and swaggering it threatens to steal the show, ‘Science and Survival’ is a sincere and rewarding maturation on the group’s successful 2011 debut.
Complete with intro tracks and interludes, the album begins in earnest with Echo From The Gallows, a song that cuts through all rhetoric with a freight-train drum groove courtesy of Shelton Woolright, and all but screams, ‘We’re back’.
The singles – Razorwire Reality, Death Of You and Transmission – are reminiscent of the pop-infused high points of ‘The Horrifying Truth’, and arrive in sequence. Out Of Date Hallucination and Silhouette are the most rewarding blends of the hard rock and progressive elements on the record, Silhouette grooving nefariously beneath Ed Martin’s emotive, soaring vocals into an otherworldly bridge, before expertly disassembling itself via the outro.
Dragging The Slow Dance Out and Miss Seattle slow the tempo and highlight a growing penchant string-men Paul Matthews and Michael Triponel exhibit toward tasteful guitar tapping. Minefield and Standing On The Sun refer to the pace of the early exchanges, before Bought With Ignorance, Sold With Arrogance slams home the darker moods and experimental elements of the record in dynamic, epic fashion.
‘Science and Survival’ consciously takes the listener on an emotional journey that begins with defiant purpose and ends in monstrous resignation. At its most accessible points a distillation of the best parts of the first album, in its darkest moments it eschews pop sensibilities to wield a prog’ rock nuance that aligns with Aussie contemporaries Karnivool and Dead Letter Circus (courtesy doubtless of return producer Forrester Savell), for the benefit of modern rock fans everywhere.