Sunday, September 21, 2008

Giraffes? Giraffes! - More Skin With Milk-Mouth

Giraffes? Giraffes! - More Skin With Milk-Mouth

Been in a math rock mood over the past few days, and from the bands I've listened to so far, this has been my favourite from the bunch. From their myspace page:

Ken and Joe grew up in Massachusetts.

Even though they had never met, they both enjoyed the same amusement park. They both liked a ride called the Rotor. You would stand inside the Rotor and it would spin and you would stick to the wall and the floor would drop.

Joe once saw someone puke on the Rotor and it stuck to their face until the ride slowed down. Other names for the Rotor are the Gravitron, the Twister, the Vortex, the Turkish Twist and the Starship 2000. Have you ever seen The 400 Blows (Les Quatre Cents Coups)?

Ken has never seen anyone puke on the Rotor.

Joe and Ken first met while going to college in New Hampshire. Ken studied music, while Joe studied literature.

They drank coffee and talked about the theory that whales were once sea creatures and they evolved into wolf-like creatures that ran on land, but they didn’t like it so they evolved back into sea creatures and eventually became huge fucking whales.

They formed a band.

They can both play guitar and drums, but in Giraffes? Giraffes! Joe taps and plucks while Ken taps and hits.

Ken and Joe and their very nice and very attractive girlfriends moved to Santa Cruz, California. They like it there. It’s nice outside.

Giraffes? Giraffes! released their debut album “SUPERBASS!!!! (black death greatest hits vol. 1)” in December 2005.

They’ve played some fun shows with Hella, Erase Errata, Make Believe, The Advantage, Ecstatic Sunshine, Growing, Shoplifting and billions of other really great bands.

Loves in Heat records released the new Giraffes? Giraffes! album “More Skin With Milk-Mouth” on December 8th, 2007.

That explains their background better than I could, and in the process, introduces you to the insane, rambling style of which the band is accustomed too. And really, Giraffes? Giraffes! is a hard band to categorize, and math rock is a hard genre to adequately describe, so let’s cut this short. There’s incredible instrumental proficiency on display here, and a surprising amount of melody underlying the technical assault. The guitars function almost as keyboards at times, incredibly smooth in sound, utilizing a number of effects while refusing to waste a moment in between chord transitions. The drums are just as effective, providing a frantic disposition on which the melodic foundation of the guitar is laid.

And… huh.

With “More Skin With Milk-Mouth”, Giraffes? Giraffes! create a fun, explicitly technical album that reads like a string of musical non-sequiturs rather than anything willing to take itself seriously. It’s weird, exciting, and provides almost 30 minutes of quirky, frenzied math rock brilliance. To give it any more thought than that would almost be to do a disservice to the playful nature of the band and album in question.