Infants – Giant Leg
Infants – who have one of the harder names to google this side of Anal C**t – have had debut album Giant Leg brewing for quite some time. Their first EP ‘Friend Paste’ was released back in 2007 and in the five years between that release and this one they’ve been quiet, except for gigs and other projects. In fact, according to their Myspace page – it still exists, which is kind of mind-blowing in itself – Giant Leg was meant to be released last year. The omens, they don’t look good.
Yet, this quiet approach is pretty ironic. Considering this album is more intense than an arm wrestle between Jack Bauer and Chuck Norris, has instruments and vocals colliding together at speeds that scientists in CERN would want to take a look at and the bratty thrash of a thousand tumblr accounts, you would expect that the fact it’s finally been released would have sparked many an earthquake.
Simply listening to the album in full might set your brain on fire, as this scuzzy, alt-pop sounds like The Pixies brawling with Test Icicles in a 16-bit wonderland is a concentrated blast. It’s wilfully aggravating, as witnessed by the pummelled drums and screams of ‘No Soul’ that almost seems to abandon rhythm in favour of burning intensity. The opening salvo of ‘Foam Party’, ‘Firetruk’ and ‘Information’ are the highlights reel of the band’s energetic sound, songs that have hooks and melodies that could storm the charts, hidden inside the aggressive rhythm section that would be more fitting for a warzone.
‘Love Mania Bento’ distinguishes itself from the thrashing brethren it has in it’s extended outro, where the screamed lyrics that hang over the song to begin with are dropped and the guitars go from being hurled through the simplistic drumming to a bright and skipping melody. It’s a rare moment of subtly, a window what could have been if the band subdued themselves and indulged their softer side.
‘Dark Hoist’ is even better, despite being over 7 minutes long it’s playful, it’s giddy, it sounds like the marriage of Shitdisco and Dananananaykoryd that never was and it’s a shame that the band very rarely showcase their instrumental talents and riffs more often on the album, choosing immediate and excessive thrills over melody.
Giant Legs hints that Infants are an uncompromising band that knows their way around a pop song. Sure, it’s a warped, snarling beast whose teeth will tear through your ears, but that’s part of the fun. Played as a full album however – and filled with songs where the band are simply playing loud and fast, instead of purpose – it starts to come undone. It’s a painful sugar rush, flashes of ecstatic highs and moments that are better isolated and separated from the more challenging bits, but a lethargic comedown means it’s better to cherry pick instead of gorge.