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Last Giant; Photo Credit: Stephanie Savenkoff
Portland, Oregons Last Giant is a rare breed. Scan the charts and blogs, and they’re dominated by groups that are so heavily infused by tracks and computers that they exist as cyborgs of the music world. Last Giant, on the other hand, believes in a more traditional approach. Flawless execution both in the studio and live is key to their sound, bringing their jaw-dropping riffs to life with an authority that can only be found by cranking the Marshall Plexi to its limit and ruthlessly testing the structural integrity of the drum heads. Rock and roll is a loud game, after all.
Since their 2015 debut, Heavy Habitat, a lot has changed for Last Giant. Their steady tour schedule has allowed them opportune time to hone their sound and evolve into a leaner, meaner version of themselves. In that time, the world has also changed dramatically, and the band (RFK Heise, Matt Wiles, and Palmer Cloud) could not help but take note.
From all of this comes Memory Of The World, an inwardly drawn collection of 11 electrifying tracks. The album is infused with a deep and nuanced ’70s rock sound with progressive embellishments along the way and Last Giant continues to obliterate the petty confines of everyday rock in this second release. The album was engineered and co-produced by Larry Crane (Tape Op, Elliott Smith), mixed by Paul Malinowski (Shiner, The Life and Times), and mastered by Mike Nolte (Of Montreal).
To compliment the release of Memory Of The World, the band has also created a music video for the first single, “Toys for the Devil,” which will surely rattle a few skulls. Using a minimalist lighting approach, the performance video keeps all eyes on the band. By stripping away any backgrounds or special effects, the video is able to bring to the forefront many nuances that might otherwise be lost in the mix.
The glow of Heise’s microphone, the effortless movement by Wiles around his sparkled kit, and the fluidity of Cloud’s movement with the vibrating bass strings all pop out as complimentary details in the pitch black room. It’s safe to expect nothing less from a band that proudly wears their influences on their sleeves, and “Toys for the Devil” encapsulates everything that is still right about rock and roll.
Last Giant doesn’t treat rock as sedentary form. They are bold, they’ve evolved, and Memory Of The World is that bittersweet record, arriving at just the right moment, where facets of our culture seem both steady and adrift.
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