Giant Brain – Throne of Thornes – Review

giantbrain200Giant Brain

Throne of Thornes (Small Stone)
By Craig Regala

Small Stone is my favorite record label, ergo I get dumb for the raft-load of rock they float down the river every year. That’s fan boy gurgle, but this one has got that outside/inside appeal that generally doesn’t get tagged as “rock” standard. Whirring, circular rhythms soundin’ local in Germany in the early ’70s at a Faust or Can show, and guitar warmth/groove with “classic rock” stroll roots, abstracting the best tones and chords to make really great “Rollin’ down the Autobahn/ I-94” road music. They dip up to classic tremoloed chill-out tunes like “Sleepwalk” and burble noise interludes too. I dunno how much the ass-end is programmed, but this stuff has pan genre appeal: Their bong can be hit loaded with stoner, indie, space, and psych weed, and the highness shall provide a positively wiggley cruising in yer space buggy ride.

It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, which is graciously spread before you. You’d be a real stupe not lay on the couch eating grapes, watching Discovery Channel’s Flying an’ Diving special on slo-mo. Really: Watch an egret hit the water at 25 mph (slowed to one-tenth speed), sink 15 feet, reappear in a corona of bubbles with a glittering fish in the beak and let the “ohh-ah!” wonder slide over yer mind. Just be cool and tell these guys how great it is they laid out the perfect soundtrack. Ya know, it can’t cost much more than a couple weeks salary to get’m to set up in yer living room for five hours (hey, it’s yer house), set the TiVo to the animal stuff, and lay on the floor and soak it all in.

At times, Giant Brain touch the airier Monster Magnet psych-pop, then go swirling through the ’90s Too Pure label stuff (Th’ Faithhealers and Moonshake piss in the same pot), and yep, Kraut rock of various strains (Guru Guru, fer sure), plus whatever electronica a Sabbath fan might dig. When not acting up, Giant Brain’s post-ambient/trance swell washes up on the shores of the “hearts of space” with enough twirl for our favorite Siamese twins to dance to a bunch of it. And then, here comes the guitar: I’ll bet this guy likes Foghat! The warmth and the general “Hey, c’mere. Have a beer to wash down that LSD/Xanax thingie yer girl just gave you” feel of the whole thing makes me hope there’s a couple hundred thousand “free yer mind and yer ass will wallow” groovers out there. Fuck, why not? Fun matters, getting out of yer head matters, feeling human matters. If not, get outta the gene pool, yer holdin’ us back. Smoosh it into the iPod with Cul-de-Sac, Kinski, Neu, Fuzzhead, Farflung, Miles Davis, Perplexa , Mogwai, The Orb, Can, O-rang, Syd’s Pink Floyd, Vocokesh, and Queens of the Stone Age.