GIVERS are exactly what their name states; the Louisiana quintet relentlessly pump happy-go-lucky pop euphoria into every inch of their upbeat debut LP, In Light, which makes you want to embrace any unassuming stranger passing by. But is their colourful patchwork quilt of afro-pop, indie, ska, punk, nosie rock and disco all too suffocating for its fifty minute running time?
‘Up Up Up’ introduces the band’s cosmic, eclectic sound, with a magnetic off-beat drum snap, billowing flutes and angry synths behind an impossibly catchy chorus. When you think that the song has finished– you guessed it – GIVERS keep on giving (pun intended) from hand-clapped breakdowns and compressed vocals, to ceremonial blast beats and grand guitar slams.
Upcoming single, ‘Meantime’, offers an equally attractive chorus, with a calypso jingle in the verse and Vampire Weekend-esque guitar solos, but ‘Saw You First’ is arguably a better choice for their next single release, for it demonstrates GIVERS ability to tone down their music and envelop it in a more rustic sound. Country acoustics are complimented by subtle, ghostly synths and a warm bass, while Tiffany Lamson and Taylor Guarisco’s harmonies and hopelessly romantic lyrics simmer over stomping rhythms.
After the warm and fuzzy nuances on the first few tracks, there appears to be a pattern of sounds emerging. In short, experimenting with as many instruments as possible isn’t a guarantee for musical variation. In addition, rarely has a more irritating chorus existed than found in ‘In Light’. Criticisms aside, it is promising to hear a band channelling remarkably buoyant sounds through a generally solid debut.
*Published for The Courier (17/10/11)- edited version found here: http://thecourieronline.co.uk/2011/10/album-review-givers-in-light/