Project Grimm

Huge Beings

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Project Grimm's second and final album, Huge Beings, is the only opus of the group to have received more than a local circulation -- a numbered 500 run from Camera Obscura (on its special project imprint, Camera Lucida) three years after its private release. Fans of the Mike Gunn know that Project Grimm was formed by guitarist/singer John Cramer following its break-up. This second album was recorded over the course of three years. The music is very much on the heavy side, with a warm analog sound recalling vintage '70s rock albums -- Led Zeppelin's studio sound values come to mind. The writing sticks to the basic simplicity of the genre, but some arrangements are quite clever, like the switches between single and double time in "When Systems Break Down." But Huge Beings is about loud guitars, thumping drums, and dark vocals. The opening "Living Without It" delivers the album's highlight up front. A scorcher of a rocker dominated by Cramer's passionate singing, it sets the bar too high too soon. You'll be spending the next 55 minutes waiting for something as powerful as that. "Seven Long Years," "Durian," and "Don't Really Mind" do come close though. Sadly, the latter features a weak keyboard part (it's meant to sound like a Hammond organ but doesn't). "Melville" explodes halfway through, threatening to cross over into Melvins-like cartoonish heaviness. Huge Beings is a good rock record, skillfully and honestly made, but it lacks a bit of diversity and intensity to really grab you by the throat.

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