The Giraffes formed nineteen years ago in their hometown in Brooklyn. They are for me one of the most jaw-dropping and electrifying bands I’ve listened to. And while I’m new to the band’s music, this is like a cannonball going off at the right exact moment for an eruptive explosion that will send shivers down to the spine. Despite line-up changes, they really got my attention of the music.
It’s this mixture between, Doom, Sludge, Punk, Thrash, and Hard Rock rolled up into a giant blender that makes the performances into a mind-blowing experience for audience to participate they’ll never forget. This year, they released their sixth album entitled Usury on the Silver Sleeves Records label in which they are the first band to be signed to the label. With their live shows being fierce and notorious with an unstoppable audience participation, they have toured with Eagles of Death Metal, Skeleton Key, and The Vacation to name a few.
Not to mention sharing the stage with Fishbone, The Strokes, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs. And knowing they have done their job right! Despite line-up changes, they reformed back last year and sold out shows between Brooklyn and Denver as they show no sign of stopping. And from the moment I put on Usury on my portable CD player, I knew something unexpected was about to happen with an amazing positive vibration.
Blood Will Run opens the track out with a big bang. It starts off with a dooming introduction done by guitarist Damien Paris and the haunting vocals by Aaron Lazar followed by the calming bass line and drumming of Josh Taggart and Andrew Totolos. It has this essence of Black Sabbath’s Hand of Doom before kicking off in a thumping nightmare ascending roar. Not to mention the pumping sludge sounds of Mastodon thrown in as well.
Damien is on fire in his guitar playing as he capturing the spirit of Tony Iommi and Aaron Lazar’s vocals remind me of Brann Dailor (Mastodon). It’s a killing track that kicks things off while going into a mid-fast driven mixture between of both Punk and Thrash Metal with the Doom approach thrown in together in political roars on both Facebook Rant and Product Placement.
Damien’s guitar gives it a beast-like horror score on the “ba-ba-ba bum!” for an intro as a riff as if the song, Washing Machine hits perfectly with brainwashing and controlling the cities and knowing when the terror is right around the corner and the choices that can come unexpected with the one chance on getting it right but collapsing all of a sudden. It has a dystopian story on what was, now it is hell on earth.
White Jacket goes into a late ‘60s garage-psychedelic atmosphere. It shows The Giraffes heading into a powerful psych-hard rock flavor in their sound that had my arm hair’s go up at the right moment with the rhythm and echoing reverbs that Damien does on his guitar between the rhythm and lead section in his instrument. Closer, How It Happened to Me is hypnotic. This is where both the band come into full circle that makes it capture back into the saddle of the Sabbath sound that makes me want to discover more of their music and see what makes them in your face and showing no stopping.
I have listened so far to Usury about six times now. And while this is an introduction to the band’s music, The Giraffes are for me, are really damn good from start to finish! And Silver Sleeve Records have scored a touchdown with this and I hope to hear more of The Giraffes music and bring the loud, wild, and mind-blowing brainstorming ideas they will come up with next.