Frontiers Records continue their obsession with a Dann Huff-less Giant, something which for most fans just isn’t going to fly, no matter how you dress it up. It ain’t and never will be Giant guys.
Lineup changes are part of life, but there are specific circumstances when removing one member is akin to removing the soul of the band. And under those circumstances, its time for a new name, like when Giuffria minus David Glen Eisley morphed into House Of Lords for example.
Dann Huff is Giant. He’s not just one member being removed – he’s the vocalist, the main songwriter and guitarist.
Frontiers tried this once before with the Terry Brock/John Roth combo joining the original rhythm section. It wasn’t Giant either but at least was a solid American sounding melodic rock album I personally file alongside my Terry Brock solo CDs.
So now we have John Roth and Giant’s bass/drum combo returning with the great Kent Hilli (Perfect Plan) on vocals. Inspired choice you would think and yes, Kent sings his heart out, but he only replicates the Huff sound on a few tracks. Given his band’s amazing cover of the Giant classic ‘Stay’, I figured he would be closer to Dann’s vocal throughout.
But he doesn’t. And this to me sounds less Giant than ‘Promise Land’ album did. This time with Alessandro Del Vecchio on production and co-writing and a range of Frontiers’ other European writing regulars involved, it sounds more like a typical Frontiers Euro-melodic rock project.
That said, the guys have only picked some high quality of songs available to them and there are a few highlights here that I happily say are among the best Euro-rock songs of recent times. More specifically, the rockers Don’t Say A Word and Never Die Young and the big ballad Anna Lee.
I don’t think the production is as tight as I expected. The guitar sound is quite hollow, and the drums lack major impact, two assets of Giant’s two main studio albums that were impeccable and remarkable.
Well performed and well written and a solid Euro-AOR album overall, that I will buy, but I’ll file alongside my Perfect Plan CDs, as for the most part, that’s what the sound most closely mimics.