Young the Giant

Five guys spread across five different high schools in Southern California's (no one from Southern California calls it "So Cal") Orange County (but folks from Orange County these days do seem to call it "The O.C.") formed a band in the late '00s.

What is unique here? That they did not have the benefit of seeing each other everyday at a shared school and were disciplined enough to write, rehearse, record and perform together? Maybe. That they recorded an EP called Shake My Hand in 2008 that included the song "Cough Syrup," which became a local hit on a major alternative-rock radio station? Seems rather novel in the Internet-heavy '00s.

This is the familiar yet slightly unusual route that Young The Giant has taken. The band plays the sort of hook-y (with only the slightest veneer of brooding) alterna-rock that sounds best when presented by a group of attractive guys for a club filled with attractive (yet slightly disaffected) youth. After the success of "Cough Syrup," the group toured more extensively throughout 2009 by playing at SXSW and opening for larger acts like Ghostland Observatory, the Whigs and Kings of Leon.

Formerly known as the Jakes, the band swapped one potentially misleading name for another in early 2010. Chalking up the name-change to outgrowing an old identity, vocalist and percussionist Sameer Gadhia described the new name as an expression of "the perennial fight for youthful exuberance in a world where things and people are forced to grow so fast -- the giant fight that youth from every generation must forever brave against cynicism and disillusion, even in the mental strength of old age." He also added, "Most importantly, the name feels like home to us.”

The band's self-titled debut is scheduled to be released in October 2010 through Roadrunner Records. Joe Chiccarelli (who has worked with other esteemed alternative-friendly acts like the White Stripes, My Morning Jacket and the Shins) produced the record.

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