Sunday, October 02, 2011

Album: Giraffes? Giraffes! - Pink Magick

Band: Giraffes? Giraffes!
Album: Pink Magick 
Label: Self Released
Year: 2011

01. Es And Em And Em And Ems
02. Scorpion Bowls At The Hong Kong
03. Totally Boneless!!!
04. Werewolf Grandma With Knives (Part One: The Changeling)
05. Werewolf Grandma With Knives (Part Two: Don't Die)
06. Koscinski's Requiem For A Golden Chariot
07. Curse Of The Tooth Nightmare
08. Transparent Man/Invisible Woman (80,000,000 Years Alone)

Ken Topham and Joe Andreoli 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. 

In 2004, Ken and Joe and their very nice and very attractive girlfriends moved to Santa Cruz, California. They liked it there. It was nice outside. 
While living in California, Giraffes? Giraffes! released their debut album Superbass!!!! (Black Death Greatest Hits Vol. 1) in December 2005 and their second album More Skin With Milk-Mouth in December 2007. They also put out two live releases, Live In Toronto and Live On KZSC. 
They toured around America and Canada and played fun shows with Tera Melos, Hella, Kayo Dot, Erase Errata, Make Believe, The Advantage, Thalia Zedek, Ecstatic Sunshine, Growing, Major Stars, Shoplifting, Tartufi, Moving Mountains and billions of other really great bands. 
In 2009, Ken and Joe and their very nice and very attractive girlfriends moved to New England. They like it there. It’s nice outside.

Enter Pink Magick: a perfect conglomerate of the first two albums plus a much stronger psychedelic and 70's prog influence. The album begins with “Es and Em and Em and Ems”, an epic sounding mish mash of guitars, drums, and organ that opens up to “Scorpion Bowls at the Hong Kong”, a song that harkens back to the first album with an up beat tempo and happy sounding melody. The main riff bounces around joyfully until settling into a drum roll build up that slowly raises the songs momentum into an interesting group chant and eventual return to the intial riff. The quieter build up of this song perfectly displays the albums wonderful production and mixing, with each layer of guitar harmonizing nicely and never overpowering the supporting bass and keys. The following song, “Totally Boneless”, also shares a more nostalgic sound, focusing around a low tapping riff interspersed with higher pitched reverb laden sections.

The following two part epic, “Werewolf Grandma With Knives”, is simply breathtaking (I never thought I'd use that adjective with math rock). Starting with disturbing ambient noise and the occasional creepy voice clip, the song sets quite the mood. A lone guitar soon comes in playing a dark melody on top of the noise, eventually leading into part two of the song. This second part reminds me of “ I Am Something Something...” from the second album, and builds wonderfully from the blast beats of the first moment until their climatic return at the end. 

The next two songs, “Koscinski's Requiem for a Golden Chariot” and “Curse of the Tooth Nightmare” flow similarly to the 2nd and 3rd, a lovely combination of energetic guitar tapping and fast paced drums that constantly build until their dramatic final moments. “Transparent Man/Invisible Woman (80,000,000 Years Alone)” is a calm, low key rest from the constant thrill of the rest of the album, not so dissimilar from “The Ghost Of EPPEEPEE’s Ghost” of the previous album. 
Ending on a high note, “DRGNFKR” is without a doubt the best Giraffes? Giraffes! song on this album and possibly their entire discography. Utilizing a more sullen sound than the mostly major key album, its both the saddest (Aside from “Werewolf Grandma With Knives”) and triumphant sounding song on the album. Starting off with a fast pull off/hammer on riff the song slows down into a Godspeed You! Black Emperor esque section and then ignites into a ripping guitar solo, gloriously ending the album in an awesome “*** Yeah!” fashion.

Overall, the album corrects the slight errs of their previous albums and explores new ground successfully. By focusing on what made their first album so exciting and their second so grand, Giraffes? Giraffes! have created a wonderful work of art that is sure to be a highlight of anyone's music collection.

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