Thursday, October 31, 2013
Giant's Chair Red And Clear Caulfield 1995
This came out in 1995 and at the time, the group was best described as post-Hardcore. Similar to other Kansas City bands such as Shiner, Season To Risk, and Molly McGuire, but with a high art value. By the time the band called it quits, they had become a fairly influential and highly regarded as Emo pioneers.
I think the "emo" tag is mostly due to association with the Nebraska label Caulfield that released most the band's catalog. Caulfield put out Denver band, Christie Front Drive, who were favorites within that scene. At that time, indie labels were still thought of as a brand. For example, you'd buy the Christie Front Drive CD, LP, or 7" and you'd get a small catalog of the labels other releases. Each album would have a short blurb about how great it was and at some point, you couldn't resist, you started buying other stuff the label put out. See Sub Pop and Dischord, those labels were brands and worked it to great success. Caulfield was the same way on an even smaller scale and Kansas City's Giant's Chair was one of the first acts the label put out.
Ultimately, Christie Front Drive with their mumbled lyrics and 3 minute intros were very much an emo band. Giant's Chair, not so much. However, due to their popularity within the scene, many later bands began grabbing ideas from them.
Either way, they're a pretty phenomenal band and still sound amazing today. I believe I'm correct when I say they formed as students at the Kansas City Art Institute. Very much in the Quicksand realm of post-Hardcore, start stop dynamics, lots of guitar, sing to scream choruses. They do throw in the high art value by concentrating on dynamics rather than volume. Like Boys Life, they also loved to drop out of tune for effect. I always loved how their songs would hang on an idea, like a choppy guitar riff for 30 seconds to a minute, before charging on into a totally different direction. "Kick the Can" has always been one of my faves on the album and represents the group well and provides insight as to why everyone considers them "Emo". "Full on Flat White" does as well and since I couldn't find "Kick the Can" on YouTube, it's linked below.
Full On Flat White