I’ve waited a little bit to write about Giraffe Tongue Orchestra‘s debut album Broken Lines, to really give it a fair share of listens. After multiple listens I’ve come to the conclusion that this is more a collection of songs than anything, really good songs though. The combination of guitarists Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Brent Hinds of Mastodon, makes for some sweet riffs and some very experimental moments, that you could tell they’ve been wanting to do for some time. Having former Mars Volta drummers Jon Theodore and Thomas Pridgen helps to add to the experimental aspect of the record. Each posses a style uniquely their own, and it fits with what Ben and Brent wrote. The real hero of the album is singer William DuVall. As the new front man for Alice in Chains, he isn’t very pronounced on their albums, but this band gives him a chance to really shine, and shine he does both vocally and lyrically.
The album starts off with “Adapt or Die” a very rocking song with a soaring chorus and lots of foot tapping rhythms. “Crucifixion” is a song that really hits the mark in combining the talents of Ben and Brent. William’s lyrics on this song are top notch. “No One Is Innocent” is a song that will grab you thanks to the riffs and rhythms. It almost sounds like a Jane’s Addiction song in the verses. The chorus is great and packs a real “vibe.” “Blood Moon” is a fun track. There is a sort of 80’s feel to it. Plus the video is pretty awesome. “Fragments & Ashes” is a decent song, though it’s not one of the standouts. “Back to the Light” features guest vocals from Juliette Lewis and it’s quite the rocker. This is one of those types of songs that when it’s played live, it will for sure get the crowd into a frenzy. “All We Have Is Now” is a somber “power ballad” in the vain of the 80’s but without the cheese factor. This song really has sensual melodies from William as the words flow off his velvet tongue. “Everyone Gets Everything They Really Want” is a funky jam, with a bit of swag to it, as well as giving the flow of the album a bit of a break. “Thieves and Whores” is drenched in Mars Volta rhythms and heavy riffs. Closing out the album is the title track “Broken Lines.” This song is a great summation of all the influences of Giraffe Tongue Orchestra.
All in all this is a great introduction to a project that has been in the works for a while now. I personally would love to see them be able to take the time to make a cohesive album. I really have to give it to Ben Weinman, Brent Hinds and William DuVall, they are a great team of songwriters. This is definitely a record that will captivate you at certain moments and leave you wanting more. It’s creative and full of inspiration, without taking away from their current bands. Giraffe Tongue Orchestra is here and I hope they continue to put out music.
Overall Rating: B+
Giraffe Tongue Orchestra- Broken Lines:
Review By: Brian Lacy