After I reviewed Danko Jones earlier this year, I had a feeling that The Giraffes would keep me very pleased with the talent scouts over at Razor & Tie Records. This self-titled effort from the New York hard rock outfit is a fantastic dollop of good old-fashioned summer rock fun. Surprisingly funny, raw, and definitely blazed on something (there are some stoner elements in the vein of Black Sabbath or more likely Queens of the Stone Age) The Giraffes reminded me that at one point in time, hard rock was freaking sweet and didn't involve bull-crap like Staind actually getting radio play. Times have changed, but what constitutes decent rock music in my book hasn't. The Giraffes definitely know where it's at!
The smashing band has a real knack for solid tune-penning; hard rock infused with hooky choruses, solid and bluesy guitar work, great drumming, and downright entertaining lyrics that are funny, sad, raw, and angry often in the course of only one or two tracks. Even more interesting is the fact the Giraffes have no problem churning out slower-paced jams every bit as good as their balls-to-the-wall rawk. The oddly catchy yet poignant rocker "Haunted Heaven" blazes by before "Man U" takes the stage with a strange jam hinting at soccer violence and sounding like a much heavier Sublime for some reason. Hell, track #5 caps this trio with much adieu, as "Having Fun" is one of the hookiest pieces of swinging rock I've heard. Get this on the radio, and let it absorb everything else into oblivion. The blatant guitar wankery of "Sugarbomb" and the great vocals pasted over it will make any retro rocker grin with barely contained glee. I think anyone with half a nose-hole could probably smell the radio-friendly fare that is "79 & Weightless." Album closer "Honey Baby Child"is fantastic slow-paced rock jamming, the kind of stuff that should be spun at stations the world over to give it a swank kick to the ass.
Rock isn't dead, it's on great labels like Razor & Tie. No, this isn't some cheaply ubverted "paid-in-full" label advertisement; between all I've heard from the label lately, bands like the Giraffes have got a grand home where they can carry rock's torch through the dark of mushy-radio gruel. I haven't heard any form of clean-vocaled rock I've enjoyed much this last year (besides a Band of Bees, Danko Jones, and a few others) and now the Giraffes can join that party. Tap into what the buzz is about, just for kicks, and rock on. I promise you will have fun doing it.