Friday, September 23, 2016

Giraffe Tongue Orchestra : "Broken Lines"

Right from the first song it's obvious this is going to be a rock record rather than a metal album. With Ben Weinman from Dillinger  Escape Plan  and brent Hinds from Mastodon splitting the guitar duties this is very much a guitarist's album. There are solos bursting out of every nook an cranny. "Crucifixion" was the first song I heard from this album, at the time I wasn't so impressed, but on the second listen it has grown on me. Duvall backing off on the verses with a smoother vocal line, but once they go into the more straight forward chorus it sounds like Queens of the Stoneage. The album continues to improve as it progresses. I really the tension of "No-one is Innocent" . This one reminds me of Mastodon, though that might be in part due to Brent's backing vocal on the chorus.

"Blood Moon" starts off with a more electronic feel and has a more 90's alternative groove to it once it kicks in proper. While this song is certainly an eclectic take on rock it doesn't hook me in on the first listen and the groove seems like it's trying to hard. The guys fueling the grooves on this album are the drummer from the Mars Volta and the bass-player from Zappa Plays Zappa / Dethklok. So this should be easy peas for them. "Fragments and Ashes" sounds like it wants to find common ground between the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tomahawk. The more angular tension is the songs better moments. Duvall's vocals are not bad they are not always consistent. They do show that he is far more capable than his work with Alice In Chains might suggest.

"Back to the Light" has interesting section, but as a whole is forcing a sonic Rubix Cube or dazzling alt-rock riffs together for better or for worse. The last minute goes off into a funk jam. The female vocals are courtesy of Juliette Lewis. "All We Have is Now"  is more of a ballad. The song is ...nice, but doesn't really go any where. They return to the funk on "Everyone Gets Everything They Really Want". The bass line at one point reminds me of "Sweet Dreams".  There are also echoes of the Cult on this one. A little too happy for me . "Thieves and Whores" starts off with a jazzy guitar interlude before launching off into some 90s rock. At it's heart this song a proggy chaos beating through it. This project could be compared to Faith No More, but Faith No More is both more fluid and aggressive.

The title track is more proggy. The verses make a little more sense than the past few songs. The drumming really shines on this one and Duvall has a lot of soul in his voice here. The vocals are harmonized more like Alice In Chains, though it's unclear what is supposed to be the chorus. I did however enjoy this album much more than I thought I would so rounding it up to an 8.5, though doubt this will make it over to my iPod. If you miss the more progressive moments of 90's alternative then this is for you.

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