Overall Score: 8/10 Songs: 8/10 Band: 7/10 Memorability: 8/10 Pros: Feels fresh and totally different to the members' day jobs. Cons: There are one or two songs that don't quite fit as well as others.
Apparently the gentlemen from Dillinger Escape Plan and Mastodon seem to enjoy each other’s company, as this is the second project featuring members of those two particular bands. The first being Killer Be Killed, which has Greg Puciato and Troy Sanders amongst their ranks, and now we have Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, the brainchild of Ben Weinman and Brent Hinds, also along for the ride is William DuVall of Alice in Chains.
Let it be said right out of the gate that ‘Broken Lines‘ is far from being Alice’s Escaped Mastodon though, this album and this band could not be further apart from the members’ original bands as you could possibly get, this is a much more linear straightforward rock record that gets straight to the point, grabs you early and pulls you along all the way to the end.
There is a lightness and an energy to this album that lives up to but subverts expectations at every turn. ‘Crucifixion’ is a good indication of how loose this album feels, showing an upbeat punky edge that is sure to be a dance-floor classic. On the other hand, ‘Blood Moon’ has a hazy kind of feel to it and is the most in line with DuVall’s work in Alice in Chains, especially in the chorus vocals.
The most interesting thing about Giraffe Tongue Orchestra is how every single song on the album has its own individual vibe and feel which sets them all apart from each other, allowing them to breathe and stand on their own but at no point do they feel like they aren’t a fully-fledged collection of songs. It’s also interesting to imagine what they would have sounded like with Juliette Lewis lending her particular talents to them, as she was lined up to be the bands original vocalist and she even cameos on some of the songs here as well to nicely complement DuVall.
With all team ups, super groups, side projects or whatever you want to call them, there are obviously moments where things come across a little less cohesively than they could have but that is a very minor quibble, and one that will no doubt be ironed out over time should the band continue. As a stand-alone album or even as the opening salvo in an ongoing project, this debut album is self-assured fun and a complete breath of fresh air to the genre as a whole, an album that demands to be whacked on loud and just enjoyed from start to finish.
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra’s Broken Lines is out now through Party Smasher Inc / Cooking Vinyl.