by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
It's been just over three years since Amanda X released Amnesia, their full-length debut, an infectious record packed with power-pop hooks, sugary melodies, and ferocious shredding guitars. In the years since, the Philadelphia based trio have shared a pair of singles, but the long wait for another album is nearly over. Giant, the band's radiant sophomore album is out this Friday, August 18th, via Self Aware Records. More than just another collection of fuzzy indie rock songs, Amanda X are taking a stance, donating all proceeds from the album to Women Against Abuse.
The record is full of dampened energy, songs that buzz with pop distortion but a tranquil attack. Giant is an album that embraces beauty and intelligence over force and volume. There's jittery pop ("Memory Loss"), pointed ballads ("Dear Marie," "Scarlet Geraniums"), and fuzz shredders ("Drenched," "Paperweight"), and a lifetime of harmonic nuance spread throughout. With a foot on the ground and a head in the clouds, Amanda X are at their best when combining both their stunning melodic detail and their most primal fuzz urges.
"Disoriented" opens with a clean melody and gentle vocals, drifting its way into a thickening guitar swoon a la Smashing Pumpkins and heart-melting harmonies that recall Veruca Salt. Building upon that, "Pitch Axis" and "Explorer" rely on massive grooves, sinewy guitars, and Cat Park and Kat Bean's perfectly intertwined voices. The songs let loose, diving around a spiraling chord progressions, getting wrapped into the sweetest of harmonies, and colliding them in a well constructed collision. The stoned dissonance of "Casual Spit" is an undeniable highlight, a song that peels distortion and dreamy pop together with a darkened atmosphere that feels sinister on first impression and increasingly peaceful in its much appreciated release of tension.
Amanda X's Giant is out Friday, August 18th via Self Aware Records.