Even when Giant Flying Turtles move from genre to genre on their latest release, Waltz to the World, they are soaring rather than hopping: sailing on their high-energy, larger-than-life sound. The Brooklyn band are tricky to pin down, but there isn’t a song on this eleven track record that won’t make you want to dance. It is no wonder they have a growing reputation as a must-see live band.
From the Polyphonic Spree-esque (though this group has far fewer numbers) vitality of “No Turning Back” — which uses a bouncy piano that comes and goes through the album, as well as a war-cry like chorus — to the much more bluesy rock’n’roll “Train Song”, and even into the cinematically dynamic “Three Shades of Blue”, this is a band with no fear of changing it up. If in one moment you are feeling the soul behind the sweet and catchy “Hold the Flag”, the next you are in an old-time Saloon being wrapped up in “Banjo”.
Besides magnificent energy, Giant Flying Turtles have another trick up their sleeve: an attention to the skillful playing of instruments most commonly heard in progressive rock. These musicians are careful in each move and in the timing of everything they do. This attentiveness strikes hardest with the rhythmic nostalgia of “Stay Out Late” and the carefully timed guitar licks on “Waltz to the World”. Both tracks find and revel in a darkness that could only come from artists who know exactly how to soak the listener in their sound. This is the real magic of Giant Flying Turtles.