Last Giant
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Last Giant

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Rock Post-rock

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"Last Giant premiere "Captain My Captain" off upcoming Heavy Habitat"

There’s a definite good-time vibe running throughout Last Giant‘s Heavy Habitat in songs like “Captain My Captain,” “Jef Leppard” and the swing-happy “Ginger Baker,” and of course there’s bound to be some comparison since the band — a solo-project of RFK Heise (ex-System and Station) in the studio, a trio live — worked with engineer Adam Pike, who also helmed the last Red Fang album, but the truth is there’s much more lurking under the surface of Heavy Habitat than skate-rock grooves and cheap-beer worship. Opener “2’s & 3’s” starts the 10-track release on a melancholy and progressive note closer to Porcupine Tree, and cuts like “Mountain Size” and “Emperor in Reverse” delve into mature-sounding melodies more contemplative than brash.

Ditto that the vocal exploration “Harmony” near the album’s midpoint and the airy, drumless finale “Swim Till We’re Sober… Then We Start Over,” with its pervasive sense of wistfulness and Beatlesian multi-track backing vocals (think “Because”). There are punk roots, and a loyalty to the form and structures of classic rock, but Last Giant doesn’t seem content to settle for one or the other. All the better for Heise, who’s joined in the band on stage by bassist Adam Shultz and drummer Matt Wiles, and who played last giant heavy habitatevery instrument on Heavy Habitat. In “Big Dumb Words,” he recalls a ’90s-style openness somewhere between Jane’s Addiction and Blind Melon, and “Night Swimming” (not an R.E.M. cover) swells in its middle third from a quiet beginning into one of the album’s most memorable thrusts, but Heise is no more allied ultimately to one side or another. For an actual band to construct a varied debut full-length is impressive enough. For a solo outing to do the same while sounding like a full band is even more so, and Heise fluidly arranges the songs so that just as “Night Swimming” finishes out all thoughtful and quiet, the more raucous “Ginger Baker” steps in to pick up the momentum.

Pike‘s production gives Heavy Habitat an overarching smoothness that serves to unite the material further, and Heise seems to relish the chance to center the proceedings around songwriting. All told, Last Giant‘s debut is a vinyl-ready 38 minutes that will see release in Feb. 2015 through Little One Ate the Big One Records, and as early notice, I’m fortunate enough to be able to host “Captain My Captain” for streaming. I don’t think any one track could completely sum up everything the record has to offer, but as one of its most upbeat movers and strongest hooks, it makes a fitting introduction anyhow, and the layers of vocals in the chorus and the stylized bass fills give some hint as to the progressive sensibilities underlying what Heise has put together.

- See more at: http://theobelisk.net/obelisk/2014/12/03/last-giant-heavy-habitat-captain-my-captain-stream/#sthash.bEwoaCLS.dpuf - Obelisk


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Still working on that hot first release.

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Last Giant Unveils “Memory Of the World” on April, 4th 2017 Tour Dates to Follow:

On the heels of Last Giant’s 2015 debut record Heavy Habitat, a hard-hitting opus chalked full of bone rumbling rock, comes Memory Of The World, an inwardly drawn collection of 11 electrifying tracks. The album is infused with a deep and nuanced 70’s rock sound with progressive embellishments along the way and Last Giant continues to obliterate the pretty confines of everyday rock in this sophomore release.

 

While bandleader Ryan Heise (ex- System and Station) isn’t out to make overt political statements with this new album, Memory Of The World is steady while adrift on the seas between the strangeness of the present, and the nostalgia for the past. The sound achieved by the band at Jackpot Studio’s resonates that speculative space. Sonic edges are filed down, and choruses are much more restrained. Mixing engineer Paul Malinowski (Shiner, The Life and Times, Riddle of Steel) and co-producer Larry Crane (Sleater-Kinney, Pavement, Tape Op) proved as prodigious partners in bringing Heise’s vocals out front in the mix, a creatively daring choice that adds a new layer to already delicate material, making songs like “Inventory” that much more visceral, and his noir cinematic songwriting experiments, like “Blood On The Road” feel like audacious artist looking out for a new venue.

 

On one hand, the album features a heavy dose of straight forward, guitar rock, like “Living In Photographs” the opener which confronts social media’s insidious ability to distort reality, and some tongue-in-cheek satire too, as on “The Comedian.” Whether the current political climate has turned Heise’s lyrical content may be debatable, a few critical songs give Memory of the World a decidedly sharp bite, like “Diamond Decade” which takes its shot right at society’s upper crust, and “Saint Paul” which refers directly to the murder of an innocent Philando Castile at the hands of police officers.

 

Behind the scenes Last Giant transformed from a Heise solo project into a collaboration. After putting a group of touring musicians together to bring Heavy Habitat out on the road, Heise, embraced a fully-fledged band. While he still fronts the outfit on guitar, vocals and keys, he’s teamed up Palmer Cloud on bass and Matt Wiles on drums to bring us the Memory Of The World.  The trio honed and arranged 11 songs over a year period, splitting time between touring and the studio.

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 steady and adrift.

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