Sound — 10
I always get so excited when I hear a band, playing something different, something not like other 100 bands around. Even though The Giraffes' music sounds like something you've heard long ago and almost forgot about, it rocks. Cause it's good old rock-n-roll! The band was formed in Brooklyn in Nineties be Daniel Paris (guitar) and Andrew Totolos (drums). In 2002 John Rosenthal (bass) and Aaron Lazar (vocals) joined them and in this mixture The Giraffes recorded and self-produced a self-titled album on Razor & Tie record label in the fall of 2004. That's the band's third album and the first label effort ?- the other two -? Helping You Help Yourself and EP -? were recorded in their own homemade studio. The current CD is 10 fast-paced songs that flow with intensity one to another, without any single whining ballad. Each song gets your attention right from the beginning and don't let it go till the end. Before you even realize it, you're half-way through the album. I don't want to place any labels on the band and compare them to anybody. The more important thing is that they get so much energy and they're not afraid to play music everybody considers to be dead. Aaron Lazar's dad was playing a lot of '70s rock bands when he grew up and he explains the band's music likewise as "Whatever music was played around the time you were born always comes back to bite you in the a-." Lazar says "We're as derivative (as the '80s-style bands). It's just that we draw from a different set of variables." Bassist John Rosenthal and drummer Drew Totolos create such a solid rhythm section and hold the songs together so skillfully, leaving a good background for Lazar and guitarist Damien Paris to jam around amok. Screaming guitars and barreling drums create powerful and visceral sound. You can define a hell lot of styles in their music put layer on layer upon rock -? from funk and jazz to metal and thrash. The album grabs you by the balls right from the first song. Opener "Jr. At His Worst" is truly amazing. The "shoop" back-vocals are just so unexpected on a rock album and make the song a perfect theme for a strip-club. Among other standouts are blues-house rock whiplash "Million $ Man" with punk-rock fury drums and splintering guitars and "Man U" both with a legendary rock tune.
Lyrics — 8
Aaron Lazar's vocals picture an image of a man who smokes even when he sleeps. He strengthens that coughing uncontrollably at the end of "Having Fun." The Giraffes make fun of everything around them. Expressions like "Having fun with assholes" and "You're going home in a f--ing ambulance" get stuck in your head and may become a frequent part of your casual conversation. Among other inspirations, there are porn, drug addiction and soccer riots. They didn't miss an opportunity to send their regards to the ex-member of the band. "Wage Earner" is a song about a buddy who quit music to get 9 to 5 job.
Overall Impression — 10
The Giraffes are playing "dirty rockers," proving that every way they can -? putting samples of a pub with crushing dishes at the end of the song , taking almost-porn pictures, even unloading pics of their shit to their web-site. They would try to shock you with the facts like the "bassist likes to eat pork and peanut butter off his nuts" and making the CD sleeve look disgusting and totally unpleasant. Featured different parts of the man's inside, it has the most colorful drawing inside the CD booklet -? something that reminds you penis with hair on top. The more you get to know about the band, the more you say "Yuck..." They follow no standards of writing music -- you never know where the song is going. Unpredictable song structure and neurotic musical shifts make songs sound like improvisation without versus and choruses and any particular melody, leaving you with a question how the hell they managed to write that?? You can hardly hear a catchy melody on the album (instead of that there are a lot of "catchy" expressions), but in those rare songs where it appears, it's fabulous. The Giraffes are not gonna make rock-n-roll alive, but they released the album that truly rocks.