Lazy Giants

Punk, Alternative/Indie, Post-punk, Experimental, Noise USA, Germany, Czechia, Canada www.linktr.ee…
S Lazy Giants

Past concerts

Ghost Palace Label Night: Lazy Giants + Vincent von Flieger + more , Museumskeller Ghost Palace Label Night: Lazy Giants + Vincent von Flieger + more
Lazy Giants , Papp Lazy Giants
Lazy Giants Gent, Muziekcentrum Kinky Star Lazy Giants
Ghost Palace Label Night: Lazy Giants + Vincent von Flieger + more , Heizhaus Ghost Palace Label Night: Lazy Giants + Vincent von Flieger + more
Ghost Palace Label Night: Lazy Giants + Vincent von Flieger + more Munchen, Milla Club Ghost Palace Label Night: Lazy Giants + Vincent von Flieger + more
Lazy Giants + Vellocet Roll Praha 5 – Smíchov, MeetFactory Lazy Giants + Vellocet Roll

Videos

Lazy Giants  Sticky Sun  0 5 2:18 0 ×

About Lazy Giants

The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's a stubborn cliché because there's truth in it.

Nearly 45 years after assembling in San Francisco's fertile punk underground, the Toiling Midgets have turned into—what else?—Lazy Giants. The original name, intended without malice or prejudice, hailed from a reality TV show circa 1979, in which an interviewer asked a pair of little-person tycoons about the secret to their success. The industrious twins' proud response became the moniker for a brooding, predominantly instrumental band uniting members of Bay Area agitators Negative Trend and the Sleepers. Lineup shuffles, drug problems, dissolutions, recoveries, reboots, deaths, and critically lauded albums for big-deal labels such as Rough Trade and Matador would follow.

But times and contexts are different now. So along with issuing an apology for any inadvertent offenses or misunderstandings, the group has officially rechristened itself the Lazy Giants. In the current semantic landscape, these words evoke something less flippant while slyly referencing the combo's imposing legacy but low-key ambitions. Further legitimizing the decision, founding guitarist Craig Gray had briefly used the sobriquet for an abortive collaboration with his late brother, Jason, during a Toiling hiatus in the '80s. Thus, the resurrection of the Lazy Giants name pays tribute to what might have been. But it ushers in a wide-open future, as well.

In certain respects, the new LP, Toiling Days Are Over, enriches a decades-old tradition. Gray fashions meaty but moody riffs from art-punk, glam, and heavy-rock materia prima. Up in the stratosphere, fellow veteran Paul Hood concocts spacey abstractions: whinnying, distorted leads and sustained vapor trails of feedback. Initially recommended by Strokes producer and Hood associate Gordon Raphael, masterful drummer (and noted solo act) Daniel Benyamin applies just enough heat and fastidiousness to the lumbering beats and loose rhythms. A second younger addition, Benyamin's friend Daniel Cerny, weaves in stealthy filaments of synth and clarinet. At gigs, he pulls triple duty as the Giants' riveting singer with the keen mustache.

Speaking of which, Toiling Days Are Over is the band's first full-length since the '90s to feature prominent vocals. Assorted incantations—by all four players plus former bassist Simon Bell, engineer Pinky B, and guest Chris Eckman (ex-Walkabouts)—suffuse the proceedings with deadpan cool, breathy yearning, flinty melodiousness, continental melancholy, or capricious eccentricity. (Dig the coughing fit that concludes "Bees of Eternity.") The music exudes remarkable oomph and consistency despite its construction at six studios in a quartet of countries. Released by Germany's Clouds Hill (The Mars Volta, Faust, Gallon Drunk) in September 2023,Toiling Days Are Over unsentimentally stresses the Giants' present without betraying their exalted past.

That said, San Francisco is but a distant, foggy memory. Gray lives in Mission, Canada; Hood resides a few hours south in Seattle; and Benyamin and Cerny dwell in Berlin, the hub of a European tour scheduled for October and November. As wildfires burn, homelessness blights, and rapacious tech moguls bulldoze California, the Giants will thrive and evolve in exile. On their own terms. As always.

Jordan N. Mamone, New York City July 4, 2023

Photos

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