And now, I present an album review I wrote for Ever Metal; a recording that became one of my favourites of 2019:
Giant Dwarf – Giant Dwarf
Release date: 09/04/2019
Running Time: 36 minutes
Review by: Alun Jones
I’ve never been to Australia. Don’t need to go there really, I know exactly what it’s like. It’s like that David Bowie video where he’s inside a big concrete block in the middle of nowhere. “Let’s Dance” – that’s the one. Or it’s like Mad Max 2: all arid desert, people surviving on dog food and a struggle to exist without civilisation.
So, it’s quite apt that such a barren, isolated place has decided to gift us with an album that is, quite frankly, a masterpiece of desert rock. Or outback rock, if you will.
This is “Giant Dwarf”, by the band Giant Dwarf, who hail from somewhere called Perth in Western Australia.
Right from the start, with opener “Golden Walrus”, the album bursts from the speakers like Gandalf after a month-long Charles Atlas course. The songs are tough and uncompromising, yet cerebral. “Black Thumb” and “Kepler” in particular will make you put your foot down on the accelerator and bang your head – whilst absorbing the intricate tapestry of the universe.
It’s all pounding rhythms and hypnotic, repeating riffs. On first encounter, the album seems very – shall we say, inspired by – Kyuss and the first Queens of the Stone Age album. Aaron Soppo (vocals) can even do a pretty convincing Josh Homme impersonation. Which is no bad thing, in my book – in fact, it’s a sure fired recipe for success.
Further investigation reveals far more than this obvious comparison, however. As well as a more fuzzed-up guitar sound – not unlike a particularly fried Fu Manchu – there’s a trippy, psychedelic sheen to the muscular groove. There’s even sitar and didgeridoo on here, in wave after wave of glorious chunky riff and rolling beats.
“The Deluge” illustrates this breadth of feeling with a six minute plus track that undulates between exuberant rocker and introspective meander in just one epic song.
If I have one small criticism, I’d like to hear a track like “Strange Wool” – a mind melting instrumental track that’s quite brilliant – dragged out to three times it’s two-minute length. Even more development and experimentation would really push Giant Dwarf further into a new dimension. But keep the edge-of-the-seat rockers too, OK guys?
“Giant Dwarf” comes within a koala’s cock of perfection. Powerful like the venom of a Death Adder, yet enticing like Natalie Imbruglia. It really is that good: from out of nowhere, an album that will surely be in my end of year Top Five.
Check Giant Dwarf out on Spotify here.
PS: apologies for the dig at Australia, it’s just a joke. I’m sure it’s nice there really.