In May of 2012, Boston four piece indie/math-rock band I Kill Giants released “We Can Live in the Exact Same Place,” a 6 minute long album totaling at 8 tracks. With an average song length of 44.5 seconds, this album takes a “trimming the fat” take on alternative, showcasing nothing but fantastic riffage and interesting song writing – as it doesn’t have the length for fillers or mediocrity.
From the first chords of “Life Instead of Sleep” I Kill Giants demonstrate that if you don’t pay close attention, you’ll miss something. Clocking in at 44 seconds, the song opens with a time-warped sample of an opera singer before exploding into fast cymbal crashes, intensely strummed chords, and urgent vocals.
Singers/guitarists Dylan Hanwright and Chris Lee talents are instantly portrayed, as they harmonize well while the song travels through a series of quickly moving chords before breaking into the closing vocal melody that immediately got stuck in my head – “Someday I’d like to fall asleep.”
The following song “Sleep Instead of Life” is without a doubt my favorite song on this album, and displays the group’s musical talents and ability to function as a band rather than a group of musicians. The song switches between the time signatures ? and 4/4 flawlessly multiple times with drummer Sander Bryce leading the charge with numerous fills and impressive snare work up his sleeve. At the 28 second mark, the song transitions into the ? section (the section that makes this song my favorite) that will close out the piece with a head-bobbing call and answer section between vocals and guitar.
I Kill Giants break their math-rock momentum on the spoken word third song titled “A Safe Return.” In this song the focus is on the poetic vocalist, rather than the entire band. Like the rest of the songs on this album, it’s gone in a flash. I Kill Giants are then quick to return to their math-rock formula with “This Conversation Didn’t go How I Hoped it Would go” – which comes to an abrupt end after smoothly transitioning into my favorite math-rock section of the album. The abrupt end is immediately greeted by the most punk-rock song of the album, “Bed Bath & Beyond.” The next minute of the Album is home to “Song for Lu Ten,” a stripped down vocals and guitar only piece that features what I believe to be the best vocal work on the entire album.
The second to last song “Thank You (Out Loud)” is the shortest song on the album, at 26 seconds. It’s a tom-driven indie song that ends in an explosion of gang vocals only to move directly into sweeping chords of the final song “Secret Tunnel.” “Secret tunnel” is an interesting ending, as it’s the only place in the entire album that repetition is really present. In this case the repetition works really well to make the final impression a lasting one, as the sweeping melodies of “Secret Tunnel” are uplifting before the instrumental pop-punk section to end the album.
I Kill Giants first swing at a full length (if I can even call this a full length) is a massive success. The filler free album is filled with math-rock unpredictability and punk-rock intensity. The short but sweet “We Can Live in the Exact Same Place” is a definite win for the band, and proves that they have massive potential, and what many bands nowadays lack – originality.