GIANT returns in a big and spectacular way this year 2022 with their new album “Shifting Time”
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the white blackbird of hard rock, melodic rock, of this year 2022, an album that besides surprising, no one, at least me, gave a hard for a new album of Giant, is a rebirth, and at the same time, a whole lesson, of what a good group of this genre has to have, no doubt Shifting Time will be very high in the typical lists of the end of the year.
Giant, and their first two albums, Last Of The Runaways, 1989, and Time To Burn, 1992, were my weakness, they were played, over and over again, during my excursions around Madrid in the subway when I had to go from one side to the other to referee a game. I remember that “singing” I’ll See You In My Dreams was like a concentration routine, in the locker room, before going out to “work”, and I remember phrases like, “jeez, Ape, what a pain in the ass with that little song”. Time passed and Giant disappeared from my life I didn’t know anything about them, so much was the abandonment that I didn’t know they had an album, III, from 2001, still with Dan Huff, and another one from 2010, Promise Land.
Until so many years go by, and while you are looking at the list of albums you are invited to criticize, you see a familiar name, Giant, a logo, even more, recognized, and you have no choice but to gasp, the surprise is huge, and you pray, while bringing the mouse pointer closer, that it is not a compilation album or anything like that, and … voila, they are new tracks!
The emotion goes down when I see that Dan Huff, the soul of the project, creator of the songs, and that bad singer, but how well he sings and makes you fall in love, is not there, but it goes up a little when I see that the rhythmic base is the same as always, David Huff, drums, Mike Brignardello, bass, and the guitarist is the great John Roth, partner on the six strings of the “one-armed” Reb Beach in Winger, and on vocals, Kent Hilli, the great singer of Perfect Plan. This emotion is almost at the same level as it would be if Dan Huff were still in the band when we also see that the great Alessandro Del Vecchio, besides mixing and mastering the album, composes.
And here is the merit, Giant was Dan Huff’s trademark, no doubt, his personality, his style are in those first two albums and that marked me so much, I can not talk about the following ones, sorry, but the new Giant, along with Del Vecchio, have managed to capture what Giant was in 89 and 92, and that we said above, hard rock, melodic rock, with capital letters. Shifting Time is pure melody, wonderful choruses, rhythmic bases suitable for this type of music, a bass that you can hear Kent Hilli!
“Let’s go with Let Our Love Win”, wow, I don’t remember a song in which the chorus is the calmest, the slowest, and the verses are the most powerful, what a great song, and original!
“Never Die Young” is a fat riff, with a very good rhythmic base, how well the bass can be heard! and brilliant choruses, the second voices, higher and that establish a dialogue with the main voice, something so Giant is wonderful.
And then comes “Don’t Say a Word”, what a great second verse, the one before the chorus, with choruses and an incredible guitar, which links with a demolishing chorus, Giant’s trademark, which is even better at the end of the song, as voices and guitars perform the melody in unison, what a great song! Roth makes magic, guitars everywhere.
“My Breath Away” is more of the same, heavy rhythmic bass, guitars, and a chorus with angelic guitars and voices. The end of each chorus, elegant, a scream in unison…My Breath Away
“Highway of Love” has a country vibe, very American, very Last Of The Runaways cover, slower than all the previous tracks. Yes, slow, until the chorus comes, come on, come on, everybody sings along, and very loud! I love those very Hammond keyboards, low, but of those that penetrate, as I love Roth, wonderful once again.
Five songs of a lot of sweat and dedication to rest with “It’s Not Over”, power ballad to the use, powerful rhythmic base, slow, heavy, with vocals, and guitars very protagonists and with feeling.
With “Standing Tall” we return to shake the ass, with a very catchy chorus, guitars, I never tire of saying it, very classy, and a rhythm very vacilón, very marked.
“Anna Lee” is the other ballad, they fulfill that unwritten rule of two ballads per album hehe.
From “Don’t Wanna Lose You” I would say that its first minute is like an intro to the song, which has a chorus for Hill to shine and with a lot of guitars in the air, I like it, besides those of the Roth brand, which you hallucinate with all the ones he has here. It is perhaps a cleaner song, not so produced.
With “I Walk Alone” they end the album, halftime in which Kent Hill, in the choruses, takes it to the moon, well accompanied by the rest of the band.
I can say without any fear, although I am afraid that the passion fills me with exaggeration, that Shifting Time, with its first five songs, excluding the intro, is the best start of melodic rock album I’ve heard in a long time, all the songs have a brutal hook, a colossal empathy, you do not stop singing for a moment, or shaking your head for a second. And the album as a whole is Giant of the first two albums in a pure state, and from the distance that thirty years give, I can say that it is even better than those two wonders. Dan Huff, who by the way, plays on Never Die Young, has to be proud of the work of his colleagues, of the legacy he has left, and of this Shifting Time, which as I say, will be one of the albums of the year.
Let Our Love Win
Never Die Young
Don’t Say a Word
My Breath Away
Highway of Love
It’s Not Over
The Price of Love
Don’t Wanna Lose You
I Walk Alone
GIANT’s line-up on this album:
David Huff. Drums.
Mike Brignardello. Bass guitar.
Kent Hilli. Vocals.
John Roth. Guitars.
Review by Ape