Small Stone, Big Deal

Red Giant signs with a raw-rock powerhouse.

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The Sounds, kicking it at their February 21 Agora - show. - Walter  Novak
The Sounds, kicking it at their February 21 Agora show.
Cleveland stoner-rock standouts Red Giant have signed a two-album deal with Detroit's Small Stone records, home to esteemed '70s-throwback bands including the Fireball Ministry, MTV VJ Iann Robinson's Puny Human, and Porn (the Men of).

Red Giant's relationship with the label dates back to 2000, when the band contributed a cover of "Lord of the Thighs" to the label's early-Aerosmith tribute album.

"I was a fan of theirs," says Scott Hamilton, Small Stone's sole proprietor and an employee of media giant Clear Channel by day. "I got a demo of theirs a couple months ago. I popped it in and said, 'Let's do it.'"

Slated for summer release, the self-produced LP was recorded at the band members' homes, with guitarist Damien behind the boards. "It sounds a lot better than our previous ones," says singer-guitarist Alex. "This one's louder and bigger than anything we've done before -- full-on Marshall-stack sound. It's way heavier than our first two. Less fuzzy, more rock. It's back and forth between big, spacey, and dynamic and too loud."

Small Stone signed a distribution deal with giant Allegro Music (formerly Nail) at the end of 2003, securing increased placement in major chain stores, with access to more than 100,000 buyers. Hamilton expects to press 2,000 copies of Red Giant's as-yet-untitled album and distribute 400 promotional discs.

Red Giant will play Small Stone's showcase at this year's South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, on Friday, March 19. The band will share a bill at Room 710 with Suplecs, the Glasspack, and Cleveland regulars Speedealer.

"It ain't for the music industry or the business. That's for damn sure," Alex says of Red Giant. "It's something that we started in high school, and it's been going since. Like four buddies playing poker or basketball."

· Former Runt guitarist Dizmo has opened Third World Studios in Brunswick, partnering with ex-Vent drummer Brooklyn Dean. The facility includes rooms for sound, recording, and vocals.

"People are doing a lot of home recording with just a computer, and it doesn't always sound so good," says Dizmo. "We want to be able to help bands do a lower-cost album." He can be reached at 330-321-6627.

· But he really wants to direct . . . Integrity frontman Dwid has been tapped to lens a video for European vegan metalers Arkangel. The clip for "From Heaven We Fall," off the band's recent Dead Man Walking LP, hits video outlets in a few weeks.

· Following an internal rift, Cleveland blues notables the Swamp Boogie Queens have changed their name to the Swamp Boogie Band. The group plays Fat Fish Blue Saturday, February 28.

· Cuyahoga Falls eatery Nanna's Restaurant now hosts an acoustic singer-songwriters' showcase Wednesdays and Fridays. The venue is accepting submissions for acts of all genres. For more information, contact Tony at 330-928-8222 or visit the restaurant at 2655 Oakwood Drive.

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