Notes ring off the strings, echoing as if from reverberating bells. Thus is the beginning of Baltimore-based Walking With Giants’ new EP, One By One, set for release on June 21. This promising hard-rock act blew me out of the water last year with its debut, self-titled release. When I heard that a new offering was on the way I immediately contacted singer, songwriter and mastermind, Gary Noon, about the chance to share his musical vision with other like-minded rockers.
Walking With Giants features an all-star cast of musicians. Rejoining Noon once more for his journey is co-writer and guitarist, Sevendust’s Clint Lowery, who continues to produce for the team. Also returning to the fold is Alter Bridge and Creed drummer, Scott ‘Flip’ Phillips. But unlike the debut recording, which found bass duties rotated between Noon and Lowery, we are treated instead with the inclusion of Alter Bridge and Creed bassist, Brian Marshall, who brings a low-end previously unheard.
For those that enjoyed the flavor of the debut EP, you will not be disappointed in the present release. The opening track, “Find Your Way Back,” begins with a feeling of confidence indicative of someone who has already proven his or her worth. Notes ring off the strings, resting atop a powerful, rolling drum beat, courtesy of Flip, that carries the verse into a heightening chorus. If it’s one thing that Walking With Giants has going for it – and it’s not just one thing – it is the amazingly addictive choruses that find their way into each and every song. Noon and Lowery have a knack for writing choruses that catch the ear, but they aren’t slouches on the strings either. The guitar duo have littered the release with hard-hitting riffs and melodies, such as the introductions to “Chasing Light” and “Anything,” the latter housing enough meaty slabs to open up its own butcher shop.
Don’t worry! While there’s plenty of incredible riffage to savor, Noon and crew haven’t forgotten about those of you who long for a sweet respite. “Another Chance” is the somber song with a glimmer of hope that reminds me faintly of the mood found in “Wonderful Life” by Alter Bridge. With its wide-open chords, passionate vocals and swooping solo, it fills the heart with sympathy. I can certainly empathize with Noon, as he sings about trying to keep his mind from racing at the “What if’s” of life and love.
Walking With Giants is well on its way to building a tremendous library of work that is not only well-written, but inspiring as well. Like their debut EP, this latest release shows concern over the darker aspects of life and human character. Yet, there is always an optimistic eye on the horizon, which sees “the darkness fading” as stated in the closing track, “So Far.” This is one of the features that drew me so quickly to the music and has kept me enraptured. One By One is another milestone in this Walking With Giants’ career and one that will hopefully see it gaining some well-earned attention.