Penny Black Music (UK)
The U.S. car industry may be spinning down the drain, but that isn't stopping Detroit’s Giant Brain from producing an album of heavy rock just waiting for zipping down the open highway - or should that be Autobahn.
The men of Giant Brain were the minds behind one of formidable stoner rock label Small Stone’s best offerings of 2007, 'Plume', and on their sophomore outing they've kicked things into even higher gear.
Starting with the Kraftwerk-loving opener ‘Relentful Resentless’, ‘Thorn of Thrones’ speeds along on the spiralling leads and hammering riffs of guitarist Phillip Durr, Andyl Sutton’s motorik bass and the loops of his brother Al.
It’s mostly an instrumental effort – barring mid-album track ‘Empyrian’ and a few soundtrack snippets - with the band keeping things fresh by altering the sound on various tracks. For example, ‘This Is Where the Robot Escapes His Evil Captor, Finds Raygun, Plots Revenge’ a blown out sound to accompany its kooky title, while ‘Asian Love Song What?’ gets Asiatic strings and a dubby percussive background.
It’s not all an attempt to break the speed limit: ‘Phones’ takes a side road, with echoing percussion trailing behind distant guitar, while ‘Water-Bored’ blends the sound of water with a sinister drone and minimalist piano.
For fans of experimental rock, space rock, or Small Stone’s usual crowd of rockers, ‘Thorn of Thrones’ is a trip well worth taking.
- Andrew Carver
released 17 February 2009
Giant Brain is:
Andy Sutton: bass, loops, programming, vocals.
Al Sutton: loops, programming, editing, keyboards, vocals, percussion.
Eric Hoegemeyer: drums, percussion, programming, editing, keyboards.
Philip Durr: guitars, bass, keyboards, melodica
Damon Che: drums on 'Asian Love Song, What?' and 'Space Mannequin'
Sue Lott: vocals on 'Empyrian'
Recorded @ Rustbelt Studios by Al and Eric.
Mastered by Chris Goosman @ Baseline Audio Labs.
Artwork by Mark Dancey.
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