Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Methodist Hospital

  • Giants [self-released, 2017] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Giants [self-released, 2017]
Living proof that young white males can still make rock new, fun, meaningful, etc.--in this case Chicagoans Dan Caffrey on concept-lyrics-vocals-bass and Maxwell J. Shults on guitar-drums-bass-"sound design." Nine tracks, 33 minutes, free if you want at Bandcamp but I say give them some money. Concept: giant cartoon monsters overrun either the world or the small Tampa-metro city of New Port Richey, where Pennsylvania-born Caffrey came of age. Subconcepts: the evolution of both cartooning and disaster flicks in millennial youth culture plus the evolution of music "from pop punk to '90s alternative, sludge metal, ambient, and back." The omnipresent guitars betray no showoff macho, I've been brain-humming "'Hey, New Port Richey'" for days, and while the concept is goofy and generational and a tad hyperaesthetic, it also acknowledges an apocalypse that may literally impend. The key idea is attributed to a buddy of Caffrey who has since died: "Once you get to be a certain size, it doesn't matter if you're good or bad / You're so big, you cause destruction wherever you go / Whether you want to or not / You can't help it." A-