Music Review: Mind Over Matter by Young the Giant

Are you someone who loves to jam out in your dorm room or your car, but gets sick of the same old rock sounds that show up in your music library? Well, a group of five guys have achieved a level of awesome that is worth checking out. Young the Giant, based out of Irvine, California, has been shaking up the indie rock scene since 2004. They have released two albums during their career: “Young the Giant” and “Mind Over Matter.”

Their namesake album was produced by Roadrunner Records. “Mind Over Matter,” released during January 2014, was produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen through Fueled By Ramen. This group features the vocals of Sameer Gadhia, the guitar stylings of Jacob Tilley and Eric Cannata with Payam Doostzadeh on bass and Francois Comtois on drums. The fifth song on Young the Giant’s most recent album brings life to the saying “Mind Over Matter.”

The song begins with a bombshell blast of synthesizer and drums before it mellows out and lead singer Gadhia reveals his enchanting voice. Young the Giant shows us a number of different angles in “Mind Over Matter.” The song displays a bit of a funk feel before taking a more forceful direction, and then comes back down and ends with a soothing finish. This ballad has just the right amount of heavy mixed in with an easy-going techno quality.

The term “mind over matter” refers to the act of using willpower to overcome physical turmoil. In Young the Giant’s song, lyrics like “Mind over matter, I’m in tatters thinkin’ about her” and “Fly to east L.A. in big jet planes, you know you’re on my mind” tell the story of a long distance relationship that is tearing the singer apart. Trying to use the mind to overcome the pain of being apart from someone is not always effective. Pains of the heart can override any work that the mind is doing to deal with that pain. The band members told Elle magazine that “Mind Over Matter” is “one of the crown jewels of the record,” Young the Giant said. “It was important thematically and lyrically and really broadened what this record is about.”

“Mind Over Matter” captures the listener’s attention before going on a musical roller coaster. Just when you feel like you could drift into a relaxed trance, a heavy drum beat or powerful vocal inflection snaps you back into reality. A variety of different sounds keeps the track interesting and enjoyable. The vocals are easily identifiable among today’s rock groups, and Gadhia displays the ability to be both rugged and smooth. For me, this song is at least an eight on a scale from one to ten, but you can be the final judge of that. Check out “Mind Over Matter” and the remaining twelve songs on Young the Giant’s second album.