Reviewed by Paddy Hudspith
Hard rock devotees will need no introduction to Giant, but newcomers may not know they were one of the finest unsung rock bands of the last 20 years. Giant showcased the vocals and guitar virtuosity of then-session man, now-producer (Megadeth, Bon Jovi amongst a host of others) Dann Huff, who along with his brother David (drums) were founding members of White Heart back in the early 1980s. Forming Giant with fellow musos Mike Brignardello (bass) and Alan Pasqua (keyboards), the Huff boys put out a pair of celebrated hard rock albums, 'Last Of The Runaways' (1989, on A&M) and 'Time To Burn' (1992, Epic). The debut album even spawned a hit, when Giant reached the US top 10 with the excellent ballad "I'll See You In My Dreams". Despite critical acclaim and a loyal fanbase, Giant were one of the many mainstream AOR acts who, in the eyes of the record industry, turned into dinosaurs overnight and were swept aside with the advent of grunge and alternative rock; Dann Huff later mused that Giant just arrived "five years too late" to really make it big. However, the band (minus Pasqua) were tempted back into the studio by Italian melodic rock label Frontiers for this 2001 release. Whilst not quite as consistent as their two earlier albums, 'III' is still exceptionally good and was just what fans had been hoping for, more pounding sing-along rock ("You Will Be Mine", a cover of Robert Palmer's "Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)"), plenty of spectacular solo-ing from Dann (including opening instrumental "Combustion") and, as ever, superb power ballads including possibly the best thing Giant have ever done, the surprisingly subtle "I Can't Let Go". Rumour has it that some of 'III's tracks were left-overs from the last two albums; if so, it doesn't show (except for maybe the cliché-ridden "Oh Yeah"). Not quite a classic, then, but at least they went out on a veritable high.
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