The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

GIANT

PROMISE LAND

I must admit Giant passed me by first time around. I kind of discovered them too late and heard all those magical things about their albums especially ‘Last of the Runaways’ and ‘Time to Burn’. I picked both up on e-bay years later and really still didn’t quite get it. I can certainly see the appeal, I appreciate the fine musicianship and velvety vocals but somehow it never really clicked with me. Even the classic ‘I’m a Believer’ seemed, well a little dull. Conversely, a very good mate of mine thinks there are about the finest band ever to tread the earth and are his perfect band; and so sent me this to have a listen to without first telling me what he thought. It has been a few years.

Here we go then. Calling the first song ‘Believer’ seems to be mocking me slightly. It’s nice, production is lush, Terry Brock (ex-Strangeways) has a great voice; but I can’t help thinking of a heavier Rick Springfield.

The title track that follows is syrupy sweet and inoffensive, but I’m not connecting. Lyrically the album is quite interesting, with religious undertones but barely registering on the Stryper scale.

The opening to ‘Never Surrender’ sounds like the synthesis of every melodic rock song ever made, but it’s more squeezy-cheese than the soul of melodic rock! Having said that it’s great (who wouldn’t like squeezy cheese?) and the best on offer here, so, so smooth.

The Dan Reed-like ‘Save Me’ is pretty nice and has a chugging funky edge. ‘Complicated Man’ is a slick Van Halen rock-out that is strangely satisfying, and completely out of place at the same time. If I had to rate ‘Our Love’ as a beverage it would be a very weak latte with seventeen sugars (and added honey). “Prisoner of Love’ is pretty good as is ‘Two Worlds’ but nothing that’s going to get the neighbours banging on the wall.

The rest of the album sounds like Giant, and latter-day Survivor and Foreigner in parts.

The loss of the man who effectively was Giant, Dan Huff (excepting the guitar on that opening tack that is) seems to have taken the edge off the promised return of this widely-regarded AOR band. Obviously that will be the main issue to overcome for Giant fans. Better than III, and if you like your melodic rock in soft scoops this is one for you. It’s not my normal cup of tea, but it sort of drew me in after a few listens. Just off to dust off ‘Last of the Runaways’ and ‘Time to Burn’ (again)…

Mark