Iron Giant No Longer Sleeping

Moncton, NB's Iron Giant are proving their stoner rock worth with this debut full-length. Formed in 2000, with former members of power-rock faves the Monoxides, the foursome is fronted by the imposing Chris Lewis, a tattooed brute who you might expect to have the deep pipes of Vin Diesel (the voice of the Iron Giant of moviedom). Instead, he belts out new C.O.C./Orange Goblin-inspired wails alongside the Goatsnake-ing riffs of guitarist Derek Robichaud (guitar tech for the Matthew Good Band). "Buzzkiller" sports a jackhammer riff adapted from Rush's "What You're Doing," and "On And On" resembles a faster Kyuss, circa Sky Valley. Lewis can change his vocals on demand, however: in "Sexist Cliché" he hearkens back to Monster Magnet's Superjudge with Dave Wyndorf-styled inflections and spacy verses while using "In Shadows" to channel both the Cult's Ian Astbury and the Doors' Jim Morrison. Alas, he hangs too heavily on the bottom of his sustained notes, resulting in nearly every song sounding slightly off-key. But with such a brawny rhythm section, Iron Giant is sure to bring the house down in your hometown. (12th Planet)