Ice Vajal :: Music Land :: Metal World
 
editorial :: feedback :: newsletter ::  
   Bands :: A-Z / G / Giant /

On disc: Giant



- Last Of The Runaways - Claudia Ehrhardt - 10 stars
- Time To Burn - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
- Don't Leave Me In Love - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
- III - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
- Live And Acoustic Official Bootleg - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
- Promise Land - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


www.gianttheband.com







Promise Land

Promise Land
(Frontiers - 2010)


Giant's debut Last Of The Runaways is still a masterpiece, and it isn't easy to keep such a high level, but Giant managed very well with their 1991 album Time To Burn which was a bit heavier. Soon after they released Time To Burn keyboardist Alan Pasqua left the band and after some more touring Dann Huff disbanded Giant. Dann Huff became one of the most respected producers and also his brother David got involved. After meeting Frontiers label boss Serafino Perugino in 1999 a Giant reunion took place and III was released in 2001. Even if it was the weakest album of Giant, it was still much better then a lot other releases!
Unfortunately Dann Huff was too busy with producing to keep doing Giant. And so his brother David and bassist Mike Brignadello joined to find a new line-up. They hooked up with Strangeways / Seventh Key singer Terry Brock and Winger gutiarist John Roth. But Dann Huff co-wrote some songs and played guitar on two. The mix was handled by Ben Fowler and the mastering was done by 3-times Grammy Award-winner Joe Palmaccio. That's the facts, now it's time to talk about the music!
On the opener Believer (Redux) Dann Huff plays guitar, but even if it's well done, it can't hook me up like I'm A Believer did back then. Instantly it becomes obvious that Terry Brock was a perfect pick, he's the one who can replace a charismatic singer like Dann Huff! And the title track Promise Land sounds very much like the old Giant, even with the new members. But as it's written by Dann Huff - co-written by Mark Spiro - it's not such a big surprise... Anyway, for a Giant lover it's a real treat! At Never Surrender the typical Giant sound is almost gone, but still it's a great melodic rock tune. The ballad Our Love has Dann Huff's signature. Beautiful ballad! Great guitar play by John Roth, even if I still miss Dann Huff's guitar play a bit... One of my favorites is Two Worlds Collide, a great melodic rocker which will hook you up and haunt you! Heavy riffs drive Plenty Of Love and really rocks! It has the mighty backings of the early 90's without sounding backdated. Well done!
Another Huff/Spiro cooperation is Through My Eyes, an ear catcher. An up-tempo rocker is Complicated Man and the closer is Save Me which is co-written by Dann Huff and here he picks up his guitar again! Beside fat riffs this one offers some funky vibe, Giant show a different facet, not a typical Giant tune... But cool.
With Terry Brock and John Roth they found some very good musicians to follow the giant footsteps of Dann Huff and the songs Dann wrote / co-wrote carry the Giant vibe. The other ones are well done, but lack Dann's signature. Anyway, one of the highlights of melodic rock! The album probably would have get a higher rating, if I wouldn't have fallen in love with Giant in 1989, so it has to keep up with Last Of The Runaways - which is almost impossible. Giant 2010 works well, especially when Dann Huff was involved and so I can just hope that he'll write songs with them in future and so gives them the true Giant sound.


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up








Live And Acoustic Official Bootleg

Live And Acoustic - Official Bootleg
(Frontiers - 2003)


In 1989 Giant hit the melodic metal / hard rock scene, but just after one more album - Time To Burn in 1991 - they vanished. In 2001 they returned with III and even played a few shows. And again we have to wait to hear again from Dan Huff and his companions. Now 2 years later their Italian label Frontiers Records present a live album called Live And Acoustic Official Bootleg. As on their debut album Last Of The Runaways they kick off with I'm A Believer. Unfortunately the booklet - more a leaflet - isn't offering any information about when and where the songs been recorded, but it seems that it's been recorded more then a decade ago, coz the 13 songs are a kind of best-of of their first 2 albums. For detail see below. Interesting are especially the 4 acoustic versions, coz a good song works acoustic as good as the original recording. Some songs get even better - like Stay. You have the chance to compare I'm A Believer and Chained easily, coz both tracks are here in a live version and an acoustic one.
The sound isn't perfect, but okay. The acoustic tracks are a bit better soundwise. I guess that they just recorded for their own use and later decided to release them. The album title indicates that, too. Well, I would have preferred a better recording, but on the other hand this shows the band in a live situation. The songs would get a 9, but due to the 'bootleg' sound character I'll give them a lower rating.
Interesting for fans of Giant and perhaps for some hard rock fans, but if you're looking for the perfect sound, then don't touch this one! If you have nothing of Giant in your collection, then try to get some of their studio CDs. To start with I recommend Last Of The Runaways, but for me as I saw Giant in the late 80's and early 90's I'm happy to have this live document.


Track list:

I'm A Beliver
Shake Me Up
Innocent Days
I Can't Get Close Enough
Because We Ended As Lovers
I'll See You In My Dreams
Chained
Thunder And Lightning
The Big Pitch
Lay It On The Line (acoustic)
I'm A Believer (acoustic)
Chained (acoustic)
Stay (acoustic)


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up






3

III
(Frontiers - 2001)


In 1989 the debut of Giant were released and soon they were top of the genre and their single I've Seen You In My Dreams hit the top-twenty in the USA.
Mainman Dann Huff was part of Whiteheart in the early 80's and soon became one of the requested, reliable and versatile players. In Giant Dann and his brother Dave (also formerly in Whiteheart) together with Nash­ville session bassist Michael Brignadello and keyboarder Alan Pasqua (worked with Santana, Stanley Clark, Rick Springfield, etc.) started Giant, a kind of super star group, perhaps not that much known, but from their talent and abilities they were! Giant's debut offered a unique sound which soon made them known and touring Europe and the States gave them a reputation as a fantastic live band. The follow up was released in 1991, soon after the release of Time To Burn Alan Pasqua left to work as a session musician again, another tour and then the Huff's get back to studio jobs. The end of Giant for almost a decade... But nowadays AOR and hard rock are getting more popular again and so the time was right to let Giant rise from the dead. The album III is picking up the vibe of Time To Burn and offers a collection of AOR / hard rock gems.
Listen to Over You and Don't Leave Me In Love and soon the magic of giant will take you over. Just listen to Doctor, Doctor, a cover version of the John Moon Martin track, this is a killer version done in the Giant style!
Amazing songs done by very talented musicians. Again they found a way to top the high quality level of the predecessor.


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up






Don't Leave Me In Love (MCD)

Don't Leave Me In Love (MCD)
(Frontiers - 2001)


As a kind of appetizer the Italian label released this MCD of Giant including the new track Don't Leave Me In Love which could have been on both of their albums and so the old tracks fit perfect to the new one. Chained, I'm A Believer and The Big Pitch are on this MCD as live versions and Stay shows that this song can rock even in an acoustic version!
Dann Huff and his companions are the real Giants of Hard Rock / AOR and now Giant is back! Personally I can't wait to hear III and hope that they return to the stage and will come to Europe then. The new track is very promising and hopefully we won't get disappointed... But these guys are excellent musicians, producers and songwriters, so I have no doubt that III will be a Giant!


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up






Time To Burn

Time To Burn
(A&M Records - 1991)


Giant is still the same... No line-up changes, but some producer, same kind of music. If you know their debut, just buy this one, even if in my opinion this something special is missing, this album is better then 99% of the genre releases these days!
Thunder And Lighting kicks off the album a heavy, grooving track. Again the American quartet is presenting a mixture of heavy rock songs and mid-tempo tunes like Lay It On The Line, Stay and Smoulder. They are still able to write catchy tunes and beautiful balladesque songs (e.g. I'll Be There When It's Over and Lost In Paradise). Outstanding is the ballad Now Until Forever!
In a nutshell, not a masterpiece like their debut, but pretty close to it! Buy it!!!!!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up






Last Of The Runaways

Last Of The Runaways
(A&M Records - 1989)


In a nutshell, if you are into melodic metal, then buy this album!!!
Okay, I'll give you some details. Starting with the screaming guitar of singer / guitarist Dann Huff, then keyboards and the song I'm A Believer is on it's way to sneak into your mind. It'll keep spinning! Reading the names of the involved musicians cause high expectations and they can fulfill them!!! The band is singer / guitarist Dann Huff, on drums his brother Dave, on bass Mike Brignardello and the keyboard is played by Alan Pasqua. And the production was in the hands of Terry Thomas.
They recorded 11 tracks, all catchy, not cheesy! The songs have power. But even the rock tunes are touching. The voice of Dann Huff is fascinating, warm and powerful, but also very soft, if necessary. His guitar play brilliant, one moment screaming guitars, next emotional solos. Supported by the superb band. The have more to offer then the usual sounds, perhaps because they're doing studio jobs and so have a larger spectrum to take from. With I'll See You In My Dreams they recorded a beautiful, powerful ballad. But Love Welcome Home isn't a weak one, but don't have this special touch. This magic.
But most songs are heavy, grooving rock songs for example No Way Out! Or listen to Stranger To Me!
If you like melodic metal, hard rock, listen to this one! This is Giant!


10 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

up

• E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com