Blood, sweat, and tears used to mean something, more than just clichéd words. They represented the core attributes of what makes rock special. Enter Portland, Oregon-based rock band Last Giant. On their third full-length, Let the End Begin, the duo delivers a high-energy rock n’ roll experience, complete with heavy grooves, loud guitars, big drums, thought-provoking lyrics, and arena-sized melody.
Comprised of RFK Heise (System & Station) on vocals/guitar and Matt Wiles on drums, the two deliver a 70s rock sound with progressive embellishments along the way, obliterating the pretty confines of everyday rock, preferring to not treat rock as a sedentary form. Let the End Begin finds the band bolder, evolving from their 2015 debut Heavy Habitat (a record in which Heise played every instrument) and 2017’s Memory of the World. Fans and journalists that have been following Heise and Last Giant may call this a career-defining album for the duo.
Whereas Heavy Habitat was “a serious party record. A hard-hitting party record,” as Heise puts it, Memory of the World found Heise’s lyrics influenced by the current political climate, including the song “Saint Paul,” which referred directly to the murder of an innocent Philander Castile at the hands of a St. Paul police officer (who was later fully acquitted on all charges).
It could be said then that Memory of the World bridged the gap between Last Giant’s 70s heavy metal party vibe and Heise’s political statements, with Let the End Begin diving more into the political arena, again influenced by the current political climate and social unrest our country is facing.
Written and recorded in isolation, RFK Heise and Matt Wiles spent months honing and capturing the essence of now as seen through their eyes. Lyrically the album touches on politics, sex, isolation, love, and loss, all a reflection of the times we collectively find ourselves in.
Songs like “Sunset Queen,” deliver the high-energy blues-infused psychedelia they have brought to previous albums while “Letter to Lennon,” “Edge of Town,” “Radio Swell,” and “Followers” all bring the goosebump factor, like hearing future classic rock.
About the song Ryan comments “My basic idea for ‘Sunset Queen’ was the comedy of a bombshell grifter who always picks the wrong target. The idea that every mark is broke and destitute and the only real take away is infatuation and undying love from her targets, a bunch of burn outs, was funny to me. I guess it’s the funny song on the album.”
The album can be pre-ordered at: https://lastgiantband.com/