A furious groove driven by a thick, energetic bassline gives way to a riff as heavy as a mountain at the onset of Rocket’s new single “Giants,” and in the next three minutes that follow we’re given front-row seats to a juggernaut performance for the ages. Mixed by the one and only Mark Needham, “Giants” is stylized with a ferocious backend and a pummeling percussive centerpiece that keeps listeners on the edge of their seats from start to finish, and although this is far from the only Needham-produced content to make headlines in the year 2019, it absolutely contains one of the most infectious hooks of any you’ll hear this November. Here, Rocket establish themselves as a band not only capable of creating a multifaceted melody as agile as the beats surrounding it are, but as a group that can convey a narrative through more than stately rhythms and catchy rhymes exclusively. They pull out the big guns to show us everything they’ve got in this track, and their efforts yield one of the edgiest new singles I’ve encountered in a while.

Raw adrenaline is the bread and butter of “Giants,” but there’s more to the substance of this song than mere muscularity alone. Indeed, there is a lot of flexing from the guitar parts – they’re bearing down on us from the jump, skipping over the drums and bashing through most anything and everything that gets in their path – but the bassline in this track is surprisingly sleek and efficient by comparison.

The beat never gets muddied in Needham’s ultra-crisp mix, but there are a couple of moments where the vocal harmonies become so engrained in the riffage that the music sounds just a bit more pop than it does punk. This isn’t a bad thing, particularly if you could care less about scene politics and adhering to nonsensical genre standards, and I actually think that the pop framework beneath the hook in “Giants” is probably what sets it the farthest apart from other, similarly stylized content I’ve reviewed in the past year. Rocket aren’t afraid to breakdown a really sweet melody when it works, and that’s something their competitors rarely do (if ever at all).

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/thebandrocket/status/1096148009673322496

I wasn’t all that familiar with this band prior to now, other than hearing about their growing reputation around metro Los Angeles of course, but I’m very interested in hearing some more of their work in the future after getting hooked on this most recent release. They bring an old school alternative rock vitality back into fashion in “Giants” without leaning too heavily on the textures and tonalities of a long-gone generation belonging to Seattle grunge bands and Bay Area pop-punkers. Mark Needham brings out a lot of their best qualities here, and hopefully it won’t be his last interaction with the group. They have an excellent studio chemistry together and develop something really unique and intoxicating in this single that I’d love to hear again in another release, but regardless of what direction either party takes in the future, Rocket are definitely one of SoCal’s hotter bands to watch right now.

Garth Thomas