Sleeping Giant - Primates

Year of Release: 2002
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 34:14:00

I have always been very appreciative of the band Mr. So & So. I felt happy when they were picked up by Marillion's Steve Rothery to be featured on his Dorian label. Sadly the label folded and apparently Mr. So & So decided to call it a day as well. Expect my delight when suddenly I receive an e-mail from guitarist Dave Foster telling me that he and two other Mr. So & So members, drummer Leon Parr and, most importantly, singer Charlotte Evans, had founded another band. Obviously less prog inclined, Sleeping Giant offers what I would dare to describe as "sophisticated pop."

Their independent release Primates contains eight original compositions starting with the funky "Everything Must Come To An End" which sports some swirling organ and tasty electric piano courtesy of newcomer James Rimmer. As was the case with Mr. So & So you can clearly hear it's Dave Foster who keeps everything under control, giving sufficient space for Charlotte to shine in her vocal role without losing attention for the arrangement for a second. There's a cross between Tori Amos and Barbara Dickson to be found in "The Longest Day" containing some tasty guitar as well. I love the line "you placed your hand on my smile," which illustrates the quality of the material on offer here. The acoustic guitar in "My Release" gives the song a folky atmosphere, turning the song into something one could expect on a Corrs album (not as a single mind you!). On the other hand if I had to pick a daytime radio favourite off this album I would certainly go for the soft breeze of "Lazarus," the kind of song which could go down a storm when sung by the likes of Sade. Two tips however: cut the song down to the 3:00 mark and get a real Hammond B3 in to do the job!

As with all of the Mr. So & So output, I'm quite pleased with the Sleeping Giant material ... but I ask myself what the ambition of this five-piece really is. If they want to hit the charts then I'm afraid their songs are not catchy and short enough. If they want to attract the attention of the AOR audience then I'm afraid there are not enough loud guitars. If they want to please the prog fans then the compositions are not complex enough. So what are they trying to prove? Is Primates a sophisticated demo of their development as a band? Only Sleeping Giant can answer those questions, but the Giant has to wake up soon should they aim to deliver a bigger impact than that other ... Gentle Giant!

Everything Must Come To An End (City Of Chimps) / The Longest Day / Precious / When Your Best Is Never Good Enough / My Release / Lazarus / Fickle / Unique

Dave Foster - guitar
Charlotte Evans - vocals
Leon Parr - drums, percussion
Simon Crumley - bass
James Rimmer - keyboards

Primates (2002)
Ember (ep) (2002)

Genre: Rock

Origin UK

Added: September 29th 2002
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 384
Language: english


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