Spain is a country fast gathering momentum in the underground rock stakes, the Mediterranean country might not be up there at the front of the pack with the likes of the USA, Sweden and Greece quite yet but it is certainly making its presence felt. Desert Psychlist may be mistaken but we think "Turn To Stone", the debut release from Santander quartet Grey Giant, may possibly be the first Spanish release we have covered on these pages not coming from either the Spinda Records or Discos Macarras labels so if you guys are reading this get on Grey Giant they're a band worth investing in.
If the first few notes of a songs intro grabs you by the throat and demands your undivided attention then its a pretty safe bet that the rest of the song is going to be a keeper, ok there are exceptions but on the whole if the intro rocks then nine times out ten the whole song will. This is certainly the case with "The Man, The Devil & The Grey Giant" the opening song from Grey Giant's debut release "Turn To Stone", a song that begins with a solitary crunchy guitar motif and is then joined by the drums and the bass and a second guitar in a stuttering heavily fuzzed out groove that is sure to have budding guitarists of all ages running to their axes of choice in the hope of emulating its addictive refrains. If the riffs and the rhythms were not enough to get your juices flowing the band then level up the songs groove factor by including clever little lead guitar hooks and fills behind a vocal that is powerful grainy and possess just a hint of semi-stoned slurriness in its execution. "Unwritten Letter" follows and this time we find the band hitting a stuttering groove drenched in fuzz and distortion that boasts just a touch of dank proto-doominess in both its vocal and musical dynamic. "Reverb Signals In Key F" takes the proto-doominess, touched upon in the previous track, and shifts it up a notch or three and adds into the mix a swaggering bluesiness that especially makes itself presence felt in the soaring guitar solos that weave in and out of the the songs raucous riffs and thunderous rhythms, the song also boasts some seriously out there lyrical content such as "Cigarettes in the wall, The Caps smoke another song" and "Four plus four is two turns, Shout loud and you're welcome" cryptic lines presumably written under the influence of something sweet and exotic which may go some way in explaining the singers semi-stoned vocal tones. Finally we arrive at the appropriately named "Last Bullet" a lyrically enigmatic anti-war tirade built around a heavy stoner/desert groove that has some nice shifts in pace and dynamic and adds an element of lysergic colouring to Grey Giant's already impressive musical palette.
Mario Hospital "Pitu" (bass/vocals); Javi Echeverría (rhythm/lead guitar); Hugo Echeverría (rhythm/lead guitar) and Pablo Salmón (drums) are names you should try to remember as they are names that hopefully will pop up again and again with the release of subsequent EP's and albums. Being a debut "Turn To Stone" is slightly naïve and raw in places, which should be expected, but this naivety and rawness in no way detracts from its appeal, in fact it adds to it.