The Giant Flying Turtles know how to rock -- Brooklyn style...The experimental yet traditional sound incorporates the sounds and emotions of New York City with middle America music with hard driving rock and prog... The band has a robust sound, like there's a party going on around them all the time. The sound incorporates swing, blues, country rock and progressive rock.
The Giant Flying Turtles Wow With Waltz to the World Album...Rocking the Brooklyn music scene with the eclectic sound comes The Giant Flying Turtles. Their overall sound characterizes itself as tropical, yet beachy vibes within the tunes of their instruments. The themes of their songs range from coasting and feel good music to experimental musings of the mind. Between mixing lyrics about the seasons, the world, and more, The Giant Flying Turtles definitely have a unique sound. Attracting audiences of a variety of ages, listeners who enjoy listening to carefree and quirky music will be delighted by The Giant Flying Turtles and their waltz to the world.
A versatile, eclectic band cover the ground from southern rock to jazz...Those more familiar with everything connected to New York City say that Brooklyn is one of the key melting pots around. Maybe that is one of the reasons why Giant Flying Turtles who hail from those parts named their recent album Waltz to the World. But it could also have something to do with the fact that on it they try almost anything that ticks their fancy at the moment, from some sophisticated pop/rock, through swing, rockabilly or even bluegrass.
They do all that through the sounds and ears through some of the most accomplished artists of the Seventies, or early Eighties, like Grateful Dead, Little Feat and Peter Gabriel circa his first few albums. But any such musical melting pot can sound like a mismatched hodgepodge in hands of musicians who may have good taste, but no real chops to back it up. Luckily for their listeners, Giant Flying Turtles can actually fly. At least as far as the music goes.
Take for example "One of a Kind," one of the best tracks on the album. It starts off like a good digest of anything Grateful Dead did on their jazz-inspired album From the Mars Hotel, chips in some CSN&Y style harmonies, goes back to Grateful Dead and then launches into a true Allman Brothers guitar workout. Before and after it you can bask in the sounds of Peter Gabriel doing Little Feat on the opening "No Turning Back," the swing seen through the eyes of Steely Dan of "The Devil in Me" or the Asylum Records style California rock of the early Seventies of the "Rivers Run Dry," the Allmans/Little Feat workout on "The Train Song" or the bluegrass goof off of "Banjo." Oh, somewhere along the line you can hear something you thought you might not have heard in a long time but needed to anyway.
The key reason why all this actually works is the fact that the band members are not only thoroughly familiar with the origins of every musical bit that they play on Waltz to the World but that they actually are so seasoned to be able to do so. Oh, and one more thing - they obviously love every single sound bite they chipped in, adding that essential ingredient that makes any music work.
A name like Giant Flying Turtles grabs attention...and this band has the musical flair to live up to their unique moniker. The Brooklyn quartet blends jazz, prog rock, and various Americana subgenres for an eclectic and one-of-a-kind sound. In fact, the fourth track on their upcoming album from Waltz to the World is fittingly titled "One of a Kind." The album's instrumentation is as diverse as the music itself. But no matter what genre Giant Flying Turtles explore, lush vocal harmonies and rousing piano lines are a signature of their sound. This is a band to watch!
"Giant Flying Turtles" is a new band with a sound as unique as their name...The east coast band that should be on your must-see list this upcoming winter.
What do you get when you combine a quartet of rockabilly, blues, swing and folk whose influences include The Police, Tears for Fears, The Grateful Dead, and The Allman Brothers? Well, Giant Flying Turtles, of course. It would only make sense that a band with such a diverse variety in influence and sound would hold such a peculiar name. Giant Flying Turtles' sound is just as unique as their brand.
The Brooklyn indie rockers don't bound themselves to a specific genre. The best way to describe their newest record, Waltz to the World, is that it's a fun, high-energy alternative rock collection with a heavy does of blues and swing.
Maybe it's the stand up bass, but one of my favorite tracks is "Stay Out Late." See? It's fun. It's simple. It's a little "jazzy," without being over-thought or over-produced. It makes you want to "stay out late."
There are several other songs on the record that paint such a terrific live picture: "The Devil and Me," "Three Shades of Blue," and "Banjo." The latter stands out from any other track on the album. From the first note, the song certainly lifts an eyebrow. From that point forward it's a party, almost like your favorite uncle from the cider festival somehow got a group of the finest girls from the tattoo parlor over for a dance party. Waltz to the World's strength lies within its ability to draw in that diverse audience. It can do it because of its varied nature. I've already listed the tremendous amount of genres that clash together on the record. There's something for everyone. However, whether it's the production quality of the song structure, much of the record does have trouble resonating once it gets past the fun of swingy, bluegrass folk.
While influences such as The Allman Brothers and Pink Floyd can be heard, and the unpredictable riffs are admirable, songs like "One of a Kind" and "Train Song" are simply un-moving. The lyrics get lost. The singing doesn't quite harmonize as smoothly as one would hope. You're waiting for a hook that never comes.
But what can I say? I like turtles. I was obsessed with Donatello as a kid. There's no question GFT has potential to light up the east coast. The piano chops alone blow me away. And they have the right momentum, already with a couple tracks included in popular festival films.
If you're the type who loves to embrace new sounds, especially ones that make you want to get up and move your feet, Waltz to the World is a record worth listening to. But, more importantly, GFT is a band I can already tell one would need to see live in order to get the real experience. I'm certainly looking them up next time I'm in New York.
Part of Brooklyn's indie scene, Giant Flying Turtles have, in a short amount of time, already carved out an impressive niche for themselves. Their second and latest album, Waltz to the World, is a strangely jazzy affair that combines various elements of both prog and left-of-center pop in a catchy yet artistic way slightly similar in vein to XTC. Influenced by Sting and The Police, the band's sound has that broad worldly quality wherein bits and pieces of different culture's music are blended together into something fuller and more anthemic.
A perfect example of this is the album opener, "No Turning Back." It has an infectious blossoming sound that grows and folds in on itself as the song progresses, while never losing sight of the band's jazzy, prog-ish origins... the album has more than its fair share of truly inspired flashes, and Waltz to the World is out September 23rd.
Giant Flying Turtles are one of the many bright lights in the bustling Brooklyn rock scene, home of many eclectic acts -- though Giant Flying Turtles stand out particularly well for their admiration of jazz, bluegrass, and blues in addition to a natural tendency toward pop hooks, as shown on opening track "No Turning Back," an anti-ballad of sorts with a vintage piano melody and emotive vocal delivery, shifting to a more power-pop-oriented guitar workings at 02:11, one of many showings of quick and seamless stylistic transitions throughout their new album Waltz to the World.
I imagine the guys from Giant Flying Turtles, on their Waltz to the World Tour, rambling around the country in a large crazy bus full of tapestries, flashing lights, and David Lynch like food items. If that's not true, I don't want to know about it. Giant Flying Turtle's music is hard to describe but incredibly fun. It's like if Peter Gabriel had a baby Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at a honky tonk bar in Brooklyn and Nick Cave was the midwife. Although, the album is officially listed under the rockabilly, prog rock, alternative, Americana, blues, swing, bluegrass, and folk categories. I think my record bin labeling is cooler.
Whatever you want to call it, Calvin Bennett, Johnny Young, TJ Jordan, and Jim Toscano had a hell of a time making Waltz to the World. At least that's what it seems like. There's a certain 80s feel to certain tracks such as "No Turning Back" and "Stay Out Late." Then you've got the down home thwang of "Banjo." There's all of the things happening here.
It's a ride, with lots of dips and side roads. Take it with you. Even if you're just headed out to the grocery store.
The one thing that's consistent on this album is quality. These guys produce solid music from beginning to the end. The musical styles are all over the map, though. They have tunes that are set in old school rock and roll, things that lean toward the music of Bob Dylan and things that feel like swing music. The closer is a full on prog rock number. They cover all kinds of different sounds in-between. In an era where people listen to one song more than they do albums, that probably makes a lot of sense in terms of capturing a wide range of listeners. I'm not sure how viable it is for those who still listen to albums. Then again, I liked all of this. I just had a little trouble linking it all together in my brain. This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
TRACK BY TRACK REVIEW
No Turning Back - They bring this one in with a classic sounding rock texture. As the vocals come over the top there are alternative rock/pop elements that emerge. I love the harmony vocals on this cut. The whole song really works well, though.
Stay Out Late - There is old school rock and roll and even a bit of a swing sound here. This has a very retro element to it. It's a fun little number that is particularly effective.
The Devil And Me - This retro tinged number has a lot of the same musical leanings as the last tune. Yet, this really doesn't sound like that cut. It just has the same inspirations. It is another fun stomper. It really feels like something from a bygone era. I absolutely love the instrumental section. It brings those old sounds into a more modern jam band kind of world.
One Of A Kind - Now, this is a definite change. There is a crunchy edge to it. I can hear some southern rock built into this. Yet it even has some fusion and weird twists and turns. In some ways it makes me think of Dixie Dregs just a little. The chorus has an almost modern prog element to it. The instrumental section on this occupies some territory between prog and fusion in the earlier, mellower part. The guitar solo brings out into some harder rocking space.
River Runs Dry - This doesn't work as well for me. It's sort of a folk rock styled power ballad. It just doesn't feel as polished as a lot of the rest. There are some interesting changes in the structure, though. Besides there are albums where this would be a standout cut. It's just that the competition here is tougher than that.
Train Song - this cut comes with more of a rocking energy. There is more of that old time rock and roll meets swing thing here. This number is stranger than anything else here, though. It is also one of the less effective tunes here. It has its moments and charms, though. I dig the jazz instrumental break quite a bit.
Three Shades Of Blue - High energy retro tinged alternative rock is the concept behind this. It's a cool tune, but not a big change.
Hold The Flag - Piano start this. The vocals come in over that backdrop, bringing this into ballad territory. This song is about the worst parts of war. It's delivered in a powerful arrangement that relies heavily on the piano and voice. Other elements only come in to strengthen it to power ballad territory.
Banjo - Now, this is a big change. This cut is very much a bluegrass kind of stomper. It's a good time tune.
Good To Be Alive - I love this tune. It has a real folk rock meets blues vibe. There are definitely nods to the rocking side of Bob Dylan. It's this is one of my favorites here.
Waltz To The World - If the whole album were like this title track, I'd land it in progressive rock. There are a lot of things about this that make me think of Pink Floyd. It's a cool classic rock based mellower tune. Everything about this just works so well. This is a candidate for highlight of the disc. That makes it a great choice both for title track and closer.
High poppy “who who who’s,” heavy guitar riffing, a hard hitting snare, and then floating bass on top with chorus harmonies and a plinky piano, this wonderfully eclectic mix begins the Giant Flying Turtles new album, Waltz To The World. These Brooklyn indie music makers mine jazz, prog rock, folk and bluegrass, and they seem to be, dare I say, experts in all these genres.
Calvin Bennett’s bass popping under Johnny Young’s piano plunks on the jazzy “Stay Out Late” swings into a controlled chorus. Then we are into the kinetic prog-like running on my personal favorite, “One of a Kind.” Young as well as guitarist TJ Jordan wail their asses off on this tune, but the harmony Yes-like vocals on the chorus are the icing on the cake for an old prog head like me.
Things get torch-song ballad-y on “River Runs Dry,” another perfect little gem that mines full pop territory. The guys get things jumpin’ and jiving like Joe Jackson on “Three Shades of Blue,” and Young’s piano is again featured on the later ballad, “Hold the Flag” (a seeming anti-war song) along with Bennett’s cello.
“Banjo” is a honky-tonk silliness jam. Drummer Jim Toscano, who is as hard hitting as he is subtle throughout, throws down hard and blistering here, and there’s a slow and serious organ/electric guitar bending mix under the harmonies. A cross between Steely Dan and modern-era Pink Floyd, if you can believe it.
There really is a lot to like about the Giant Flying Turtles Waltz To The World.
I’ve had pretty good luck over the years with bands and performers who hail from the Big Apple, and this Brooklyn-based quartet is no exception...from the opening bars of No Turning Back, an inspiring song a little reminiscent of U2, Giant Flying Turtles takes you in many different directions. They get a little bit funky with Stay Out Late, then veer off at a double-time sashay with The Devil And Me. Yeah, it’s like that through most of the first half of the record. The more conventional One Of A Kind sets the listener up for a slowdown with River Runs Dry, only to be rocked anew with Train Song, a track that would have been at home as a deep cut on a Blue Oyster Cult record. They were always a little bit quirky in song structure, and this was too.
As it turns out, a slightly different shift comes out in the next three songs: Three Shades of Blue is the quick-step song, but then things are turned down for Hold The Flag and, in an almost jarring whipsaw, back to a country-flavored turn with Banjo. My cynical favorite Good To Be Alive is the penultimate song on the record, which concludes with the title track. If variety is the spice of life, you get that quality in spades here.
I had thoughts of suggesting the next album be called “Box of Chocolates” because you never know what you’ll get, but after thinking about it a little you really do know what you will get because all the songs are good in their own way. ...in terms of musicianship I had very few minor complaints.
I think this is the second time I had the happy accident of scheduling the review for the release date, so you can get this hot off the press. But as I always say, don’t take my word for it. Listen for yourself and if you like it be advised this is their second album and the first is there as well.
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.
Intoxicated by the gritty charm of one of the most artistically abundant cities in the world, Brooklyn Rockers, Giant Flying Turtles, are back and gearing up for their upcoming studio album release, ‘Waltz To The World’. Kicking off with “No Turning Back”, the Brooklyn band of brothers have revitalized their creative energies and begin with a sound that mimics The Police back in their ‘Ghost in the Machine’ days with lyrics laced with mysterious metaphors and an instrumental pizzazz that embodies elements of Modern-Day Rock.
The second track, “Stay Out Late”, bewitches listeners with a well-written effort to create an atmosphere of lusty fascination aching to overcome the ravishing elements that are tied into a night out with a lover that steers Giant Flying Turtles members away from their core and challenges the rockers to soar beyond temptation. “The Devil and Me” is the third track which is a large slice of frantic, jumpy beats with rock sensibilities that meld into catchy lyricism that tells a tale of pure irony pertaining to wasting away days with a human being whose actions put another individual through a mental maze.
The fourth track, “One of a Kind”, begins with artful bluesy instrumentals that lead into soaring vocals that are reminiscent of Rush and an electric midway fusion highlighting Giant Flying Turtles timeless instrumental expression of freedom of joy that is spun with magic that is difficult to dismiss. “River Runs Dry” is the fifth track that slows it down into a passionate lyrical expression of slowing down your mind throughout your one and only ride before your very own river runs dry.
The seventh track, “Three Shades of Blue”, is the epitome of Rockabilly that showcases that Giant Flying Turtles are a dynamic band with the spirit of generations rushing their veins as they venture through a thumping tune with ease. “Hold the Flag” is the eighth track that expands the minds of listeners through lyricism that challenges individuals who are conforming to belief systems that are subconsciously ingrained as we are all brought up within a system that doesn’t accept minds and thoughts that steer from the commonplace.
The tenth track, “Good To Be Alive”, moves to greener pastures as Giant Flying Turtles lyrically exemplify a life simplified through a track that explores rapid thoughts through the first verse that lead into a purer state over the chorus that is abounding with positive force through riding the minds course. Closing out with the title track, “Waltz to the World”, a mix-up of futuristic and retro vibes shine and mesmerize listeners as the resurrection of wisdom comes to light through a track that stirs connections of both the future and the past in unison.
If you’re a fan of bands such as The Cars, The Police, Rush, and REO Speedwagon, then Giant Flying Turtles are the crafty lyricists and band that you’re missing out on. Keep an eye out for the September 23rd release of ‘Waltz to the World’.
Giant Flying Turtles offer an enjoyable variety on ‘Waltz To The World. Unusual is a blessing. It’s a quality that draws attention. It piques interests and stimulates curiosity. Giant Flying Turtles‘ first head-turner is their moniker, obviously. If that gets the fish biting, their sound will really sink the hooks in.
It’s hard to classify the sound on the band’s new album, Waltz To The World, with just one (or even two or three) simple genre tags. It’s an ambitious musical outing that covers a lot of ground, and it covers it well. The Brooklyn quartet stays mainly rooted in areas of rock, but there’s some bluesy soul, saloon-style Western ditties, some Americana, honky-tonk, and some slower, ballad-like moments as well. There’s a lot to explore and enjoy, and if you like variety this is an album for you.
You can stream through all 11 tracks below as you settle in and begin to realize that Giant Flying Turtles is probably one of your new favorite bands.
Giant Flying Turtles Jam On Waltz To The World. NYC based Giant Flying Turtles deliver a delightful and jamming blend of blues, rockabilly, jazz and more on their latest album Waltz To The World.
Immediately hooking listeners with their distinctively uplifting arrangements, memorable lyrics and an abundance of jazz-infused pop appeal, Giant Flying Turtles just became a new top pick of mine.
Each song makes me want to get up and dance. The grooves make you move. The melodies lift your spirits. The rhythms pump your adrenaline. Everything about this refreshing group of musicians and their excellent song crafting guarantee pleased audiences and new fans well into the future. Even when they slow it down, you’ll want to grab the nearest lady and lead her in a dance for the memories.
Packed with eleven songs of pure aural enjoyment, Waltz To The World is an experience you need to add to your to-do list. I hear these guys throw one hell of a live show so if you are in or ever visit NYC, I urge you to try and catch them live. (Send me video and photos if you do!)
The Giant Flying Turtles releases new experimental project, ‘Waltz To The World.’ The Giant Flying Turtles’ inventive band moniker segues into their highly experimental and innovative sound. The bustling quintet drives through a hard rock approach with prog nodes in their sound.
At first consisting of Johnny Young and Calvin Bennett, who met while playing in Kresior on Teepee Records. They found out they both shared a love in music and started playing as a duo in bars around Brooklyn. Soon they met drummer Jim Toscano, who joined forces with them and in 2016, virtuoso guitarist T. J. Jordan wanted in on the action, making the group complete.
The band’s crossover sound edges into their second release, highlighting a blend of rock, folk, jazz, bluegrass, and blues in their high energy new album, Waltz To The World.
The first track off the album, titled, “No Turning Back,” incorporates bluesy and jazzy overtures in a waltz time signature stance. The whispery vocals gets worked into a bit of upbeat piano melody that fleshes out some of the highly energetic resonances in the experimental sound. This spirited and atmospheric piece of recording inspires a bit of prog rock mixed in with traces of smooth piano on this song.
On the track, “Stay Out Late,” the vocals are sung with great gusto. The invigorating keyed up vibe paves the way for some piano-influenced tunes with jazzy flair to be played with robust bluesy guitars. The furious jazzy-enthused vocals relays a great melody and a jazz and blues-enhanced harmonies.
“The Devil And Me” is a fun-driven track with a great jiving sound. The upbeat piano tunes are catchy and produce a contagious swinging beat. The hot, sizzling uptake will have listeners thirsting for more. The lively grinding mambo sound makes this a fiery release with a frenzied appeal. Blues-driven, this song is bursting with flavors and a happening vibe.
“One Of A Kind” is filled with chaotic piano playing, where the keys are played in a sort of dis-chord. The result is a kind of organized chaos, where it looks like Jordan reins in on the control with his verbose guitars, acclimating to the disordered piano keys with a blend of chilling guitars as a base. This guitar heavy track follows through with some prog rock and a sort of industrial-ness to the sound. The rush of metallic sounding guitars take in the direction of blithe vocals, a contrast to the formation of hard rock that coalesces in the track. In mid-track is a mellow piano solo, then energetic guitars rev up to the give the song some more of its radio-active energy.
“River Runs Dry” encases an interlay of beatific piano playing. The relaxing vibe from the soothing and peaceful melody has a sort of hazy feel and seems to contain a sort of 80’s retro quality to the sound. The piano layers are the backbone to this ballad-driven track. The clashes of drums and the coursing of piano keys, makes this dreamy music great to kick back to.
A bunch of moody guitars produces an ominous sound in the following track, “Train Song.” Reverb-filled vocals adds to the overall great energy, as a wall of dark sounding guitars rev up. The track is filled with some gritty, bluesy flavor and a fiery-spirited-ness.
Towards “Three Shades of Blue,” we see Waltz To The World building up in momentum. Instead of balling up with tranquilizing ballad-induced harmonies, the album takes a turn for the bombastic with a wall of energy coming from the fast tunes filled with great bluesy and jazzy undertones. The track guns with lyrics spewed out in quick sure-fire succession sung with a speedy and catchy vibe.
The album slows down to encompass, “Hold The Flag,” that harnesses some slower more melodic piano tunes. The drifting, listless quality to this ballad makes for a great flowy vibe. Urgent piano melodies and a marching backbeat makes this a dramatic track.
A sort of rockabilly sound permeates the track, “Banjo.” Infused with a twist of jazz and blues, this retro sounding song contains some jaunty tunes as the sounds of the banjo being plucked feeds into the drunken feel-good vibes. Fun-driven and a bit of country-twang evident on this track as well, the lightning sounds coming from the fiddling resonates with a charged, electric feel. The song is sung with passion accompanied by a jamming piano vibe.
“Good To Be Alive” has an electric vibe coming from the guitars and resonates with a bluesy rock vibe from the reverberating vocals and from the grainy feel from the recording itself. Tracing some inviting piano melodies, the choral-like vocal harmonies in the refrain also add into the outcome of someone who has come across a near-life-and-death experience and thanks the stars every day for being alive. The track is sung with conviction, which convincingly dramatizes someone undergoing this experience, seen the angels, and been back all in one piece to testify.
Toward the end of the album, we see in the title-track, “Waltz To The World,” a dreamy, hazy, and haunting feel. Listeners will drown in this intoxicating sound. The blazing guitar traces an 80’s retro vibe, leading toward an inspiration note in the track. Bolstering a nostalgic bent in this retrospective track, a blend of electric guitars, dynamic drumming, and melodic keys drive this modernized waltz that like the title says flows languidly between worlds with a sound that oscillates from a prog rockabilly jive to a jazzy and blues inspired sound.
Like their band name creatively elicits, The Giant Flying Turtles are a musical force to be reckoned with. Their highly titanium experimental sound is music that will empower you with a frenzied kind of energy. Their set of sonic adventures are fruitful at best with unpredictable flares into jazz, rock, blues, and folk soundscapes. Together, The Giant Flying Turtles’ rock hard chemistry grooms together a circuit of genre-bending music with precision and control. But what is ill-contained about their sound is their energetic recordings and keyed up style of music that makes The Giant Flying Turtles the fiber of the blues, jazz, bluegrass, folk, and rock community.
The Giant Flying Turtles are rising up and comers in the burgeoning Brooklyn rock scene but are gaining traction in and around the east coast and beyond.
Be sure you give The Giant Flying Turtles new album release, Waltz To The World, a listen today!
Giant Flying Turtles unique indie music Giant Flying Turtles – Waltz To The World. Giant Flying Turtles unique indie music Giant Flying Turtles – WALTZ TO THE WORLD: This great little band from Brooklyn says they’re “carving a place in/beyond Brooklyn”, & they’ve NAILED it on this fine rockin’ CD! Just listen to tunes like “Stay Out Late” with the striding bass introduction to pure pandemonium, & you’ll be as convinced as I was when I first heard this track!
Their style is a blend of other cool styles, & once you’ve listened to these players (Calvin Bennett on vocals, upright bass, 6 and 12 string guitars, cello; Johnny Young – vocals, piano, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars; TJ Jordan – guitars and vocals and Jim Toscano – drums and percussion), you’ll be caught up for the long term… especially when they play songs like “River Runs Dry“… a song that clearly displays their high-talent and high-energy for the playing of the music… I totally dug this tune; no, it’s not “jazz”, in fact, it’s kind of their own style & more unique indie than I’ve heard in a good long time – GREAT energy & some splendid organ from Johnny!
Of the eleven tracks offered up, though, it is the guitar-laden “Good To Be Alive” that is my pick for personal favorite (& definitely the reason why I wanted the chance to review them here)… there are some marvelous integrations of strings, very much alive keyboards & strong vocals! I give these gents a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98. Get more information & listen to their songs/samples on the Giant Flying Turtles REVERBNATION site! (keep your ears on these cats, they’re going to ascend rapidly)!
...The band have something pretty special going on here, there is a consistent level of energy and imagination centered around an overall band sound, however their skill in switching genres or just mixing them up in one song, makes for some fabulous variety.
Fusion is a lazy word in rock journalism. Everything is a fusion of something! However, every once in a while a band can fully incorporate a plethora of styles under their umbrella and pull them all off successfully. Brooklyn-based Giant Flying Turtles don't just incorporate elements of a few different styles into their signature brew. They commit to each one wholeheartedly, changing on a dime between wall of sound classic rock, jazzy solos, loungey verses, and bluegrass breakdowns. This is all done with an exuberant rockabilly energy.
The album's grandiose opening track 'No Turning Back' has the E Street Band's fingerprints all over it. Starting from humble beginnings, the track bubbles with that early twenty-something vim and vigour. The steam engine combo of galloping guitars and drums that excitedly nip at the heels of the next beat emit a boundless curiosity and a drive to leave the known world behind. That unbreakably hopeful piano that is a staple of the Boss's work tells us we're on our way to something great. Rather than leaving behind that Jersey Turnpike for the open road, The Giant Flying Turtles destination, as their name suggests, is a little more cosmic. By the time the singer bursts out his claim “There is no turning back! We've come too far this time!” with a carnival barker's dynamism, you're fully on board with whatever wacky adventure you're about to be on with them. A fluttering synth/piano solo further whips up excitement.
The album then moves into jazzier territory with 'Stay Out Late' and 'The Devil and Me' featuring a prominent standup bass and that Cherry-Poppin' Daddies lounge vibe. Snappy tunes to get your fingers snappin' and your toes tappin'. As the album progresses, they continue to bounce back and forth seamlessly between rock n roll might and nuanced jazz sensibility often from part to part within a song. A prime example of this is 'Train Song', a riffy juggernaut that slips smoothly into a late-night speakeasy vibe for its verses then bursts back with fury for its monster choruses with a swampy Zeppelin flare. It is quite the feat to meld these disparate elements so well, never feeling disjointed or forced.
Waltz to the World tears up the rulebook and shows off the incredible versatility of Giant Flying Turtles without ever feeling disjointed or mashed together. It's a solid album start to finish.
Giant Flying Turtles Walt to the World, 2017 - Another new band whose album has been making many rounds in my CD-player the last weeks. The funny thing is, looking at the band name, the album title or the album art, will probably not give you a clue as to what to expect. Well, here’s where I come in I guess.
The Giant Flying Turtles are a 4 piece band consisting of Calvin Bennet on vocals, upright and electric bass, acoustic guitars and cello, Johnny Young on vocals, piano, keyboards and rhythm guitar, Jim Toscano on drums, percussion and whistle and TJ Jordan on guitar and vocals. There are also some guest on banjo and violin.
Looking at that it seems the guys are able to add a lot of colour. And that would be the needle on the head. This album is filled with songs that cover a broad spectrum of genres. Think everything between Rockabilly, Prog rock, Alternative, Americana, Blues, Swing, Bluegrass and Folk. And while some might be put off by that, those would be missing out!
Because whatever is the root of a song, these guys are able to convince. The songs have great spirit and energy. And I for one admire a band with the balls to just go out and do what they like. Especially when served so expertly. Of course for me personally the more rocking tracks (check One Of A Kind for instance) are closest to my taste, but I have found every track to be enjoyable and just very well done.
I think a lot of people could fall in love with this, so please have a listen!
Giant Flying Turtles Get Funky With New Album “Waltz to the World” - Brooklyn will always be a fertile ground for indie music. The most populated borough in New York City has produced some of the world’s most creative music and now there is yet another band looking to build on their Brooklyn roots. GFT’s daring style and ability to mingle a wide array of musical dialects into one truly distinct yet familiar sound is a testament to the band’s talented members...
There is an undeniably transcendental spirit present in GFT’s new album. Songs like “No Turning Back,” “Devil In Me” and “Train Song” perfectly display the band’s jazzy brand of uplifting genre-bending music. Heady ballads like “Stay Out Late” and “River Runs Dry” show off the bands smoldering instrumentation and vocal skill. The album’s lead single “Waltz To The World” is a gleaming effort that is both somber and bold in equal measure.
Many bands bill themselves a genre defying or something similar, but it's not often completely true. Giant Flying Turtles, a quartet hailing from Brookylyn's indie scene, is the exception. They have a full sound, with the keyboards and bass figuring prominently, along with guitar and a wide range of instrumentation, including the cello, fleshing out the sound.
Perhaps oddly, this is music that will appeal to oldsters and hipsters alike, fueled by really tight musicianship - in particular, Johnny Young's liquid fluency on the keyboard that offers many of the release's highlights. Tight, crisp, and inventive drumming by Jim Toscano is another part of their signature sound. Johnny Young is also the band's main vocalist, with a sound that ranges from rough edged rock to the pure tones of prog rock.
The songs cover a range of moods and sounds. Waltz To The World - which isn't actually a waltz, lol - is pop with a jazzy feel, lit up by a shimmering keyboard line and expressive vocals. One Of A Kind ventures into a classic rock mode, with a side journey into prog rock - and harmonies on the chorus that made me think I was listening to Yes for a few seconds.
Stay Out Late has a trippy feel that veers from jazz to campy pop, with a cool sycopated beat and a retro vibe that reminds me of the best of sixties pop. Train Song starts as a straight ahead rocker, veers into a glam rock kind of mode - a la Queen - with a jazzy beat. That's the kind of mash up you can expect from this talented bunch.
Most of the songs are upbeat and uptemp, Hold The Flag being a lovely exception. The music is appropriately elegiac and somber, with a military-style drum riffHate and love
Light and dark
When all the world's in flames
With no ideas to spark
If our minds
Betray our hearts
Children are all born to lose
When there's nowhere they can hide
We could will hold the flag,
Until the lights go down...
They may not be well known outside the Brooklyn indie scene as yet, but if there is any justice in the world, that will all change.
Waltz To The World is slated to drop September 23. It’s from the Giant Flying Turtles – how cool is that name? – who hail from Brooklyn, NY. The band is made up of Calvin Bennett on vocals, upright bass, guitars and cello; Johnny Young on vocals, piano, keyboards and guitars; T.J. Jordan on vocals and guitars; and Jim Toscano sits in the pocket. Stylistically, the Giant Flying Turtles combine elements of progressive rock, alt rock, blues, swing, bluegrass, Americana and folk into their own distinctive sound.
Waltz To The World contains eleven tracks. “No Turning Back” kicks the album off with a melody emanating influences from prog rock, bluegrass and folk. The melody is light and buoyant, with crisp, bright vocal harmonies, fluttering guitars and delightful, tinkling keyboards. “Stay Out Late” positively oozes a thick blues flavor, along with a touch of jazz, set to a funky groove shimmering with outstanding vocal harmonies and dazzling guitar riffs and a spectacular piano. “The Devil and Me” rides a melody full of swing and jazz elements. The piano sparkles with a boogie woogie flavor while the vocals are infectiously fun. “One Of A Kind” delivers a jazzy, bluesy prog rock feel, riding heavy guitars that take on a luminous quality. The chorus reminds me of Styx, full of perky nuances. In fact, the song sounds like Chicago on steroids crossed with Styx and Queen. “River Runs Dry” slows things down a bit, providing an alt rock/prog rock melody reminiscent of the Beatles. The vocals are slightly off kilter, adding an ascetic flavor to the tune. A beautiful piano solo really makes the song sparkle. “Train Song” pumps it up, combining blues and jazz elements with a prog rock sensibility. The tune ramps up to rock levels on the chorus, which rides a jumping piano. “Three Shades of Blue” combines swing, rock and country essences into a rollicking, thumping melody. Once again, the vocal harmonies are superb, giving the tune flowing energy. “Hold The Flag” starts off with a mellow piano, followed by the entrance of a dulcet tenor and strings. The melody exudes a subdued prog rock tang that’s piquant with Young’s excellent work on the piano. “Banjo” delivers a cogent melody rife with country, folk and rock elements in a rockabilly matrix. The tune bubbles with ebullience and charm. “Good To Be Alive” blends rock and blues into a heavy, growling melody. The rasping vocals add to the rusty feel, while the sunny background vocals provide contrast. The title track offers a prog rock melody infused with a jazz extract, giving the tune a unique sonic footprint that arises gracefully. The guitar wailing under the melody is fantastic.
The Giant Flying Turtles definitely have it going on! Waltz To The World is quite distinct from anything else around, original and creative. The melodies are deliciously contagious, the instrumentation is tight and sharp, and the vocal harmonies are mesmerizing. Don’t miss this one!
Anyway…the GFT managed to engage an enthusiastic Thursday night crowd with a set that showcased the excellent musicianship of the band and the smart, eclectic songwriting of Young and bassist Calvin Bennett, who share lead vocal duties. Young plays keys, mainly with a straight up acoustic piano sound, atop the solid rhythmic foundation of Bennett on upright bass and Jim Toscano on drumkit. The recent addition of the talented TJ Jordan expands the band’s live sonic palette with acoustic and electric guitars, banjo and backing vocals. The players play for the song, bringing out the best in Young & Bennett’s catchy yet adventurous tunes which range from old school bar room boogie-woogie as heard on “Keep My Dream Alive” to sweeping anthems such as “Brain Cloud,” on which the band got the crowd roaring with some intense, non-meandering jamming action. GFT know how to put a set list together, taking the audience on a musical ride of twists and turns, pulling the crowd in.
Dan Sheehan - The Dan Sheehan Conspiracy
With a sound about as unique as their name, Giant Flying Turtles is doing a great job carving a place for themselves in, and beyond, the thriving Brooklyn, New York indie music scene. The Giant Flying Turtles’ music pulls from a variety of influences and combines high-octane roots music, blues, jazz and rock in a manner as free-spirited as their motivational song “Keep My Dream Alive.” I’m sure seeing Giant Flying Turtles live is a very memorable experience. Listen to Giant Flying Turtles’ song “Keep My Dream Alive” here: http://www.reverbnation.com/giantflyingturtles/song/12400989-keep-my-dream-alive”
NMCM - New Music Charts Magazine
…blend a wide array of different genres and styles in the creation of an utterly unique album. Run for Your Life has GFT take up the countenance of seventies rock, tying a strong set of vocals with pleasant guitars and on-point drum and synth work. Utterly ready for radio rotation, GFT is able to keep things going well with Keep My Dream Alive.This track will appease fans of rockabilly and sixties rock, while the vocals link together Reel Big Fish and the B-52s.A piano line makes the track absolutely twinkle. Carnivorous Flowers…takes a number of listens to truly get. The dense arrangements will appease fans of progressive rock and metal (Jethro Tull, Yes, Pendragon), while still having enough of a rock shell to keep a wide swath of fans happy. Faithless takes up hints of Irish rock (Bloody Irish Boys, Great Big Sea) and links the style to early sixties... This mélange of styles is great, keeping listeners on the edges of their seats.
The Phoenix Fest had a few very pleasant surprises for me. Giant Flying Turtles was perhaps the biggest. Having never seen you guys before, it took a few seconds to figure out your level of musicianship is outstanding. It took a couple minutes to recognize your style is original and fresh and your arrangements are very interesting. As with many things that are different, it sometimes takes a while to obsorb all the facets, but by the end of your set, I was a big fan. You guys have fun and make it fun for your audience. Since Saturday, I listened to the CD and find that I want to keep it in the CD player and continue to listen, as it just kepps getting better and better! I hope to catch you guys again very soon. Maybe some of us will come up the NYC and catch a show. Great stuff guys!
Ed Comeau - Southern Maryland News
Giant Flying Turtles played in the rain, and they were great.... A little rain wasn’t going to stop those flying turtles.
Tinges of different musical styles that are touched upon with class and the right amount of sparseness that tickle your ears and bring a smile to your face all the while leaving the listener wanting more. Great vocals, harmonies and catchy hooks. Giant Flying Turtles ROCK!
Don't let their boyish good looks fool you, these rockers come from the schoolings of legendary acts like Pink Floyd, Yes, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and The Beatles.