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- Ramp by Giant Sand
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7/10 Penrith Steve Customer review, 8th November 2014
Happily existing in the background to just about everything else for the past 30 years, and having a cast of musicians revolving around principal singer and songwriter Howe Gelb, Giant Sand have just got on with things. Releasing 27 albums since 1985, they are still only really known and admired by the initiated.
“Ramp” was released in 1991 and pretty much got lost in the thick fog of grunge. Despite it sounding a bit like the Pixies in parts (“Warm Storm”) and containing wonky songs that felt like they were going to fall apart a la Pavement (“Anti-Shadow”) it really was quite different to what was going on at then time. It even has 80 seconds of jazz paino stuck in the middle. “Romance of Falling” is a great opener, poppier than their usual desert rock/country sound it features a great catchy chorus with a background vocal from Paula Jean Brown (Who replaced Jane Wiedlin in The Go-Gos). “Neon Filler” is one of the albums best tracks again featuring female backing vocals on the chorus which are a pleasant contrast to Gelb’s voice.
John Convertino and Joey Burns of Calexico are the rhythm section and two of the albums best songs “Wonder” and “Seldom Matters” feature the distinctive vocals of singer/songwriter Victoria Williams (Her song, “Frying Pan” has been covered by Evan Dando, among others”).
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