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Rhythm & Views

The Giraffes

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Churning up just enough sludge for a good stomp and wallow, The Giraffes affably re-create the post-psychedelic proto-metal of classic '70s groups such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Blue Oyster Cult and Steppenwolf. Here is music that can pummel you as hard as today's hardcore and death-metal acts, but it's melodic, danceable, a tad oversexed and ultimately charming, albeit in a crude fashion.

Sure, some listeners have been comparing this Brooklyn-based quartet to contemporary acts such as the Melvins and Queens of the Stone Age, to grunge bands such as Nirvana and Soundgarden, and to 1980s SST bands such as Black Flag and St. Vitus. Dude, you gotta go back further.

Like all those groups, The Giraffes play music inspired by the bleary hangover experienced by hard-rockers waking up from groovy late-'60s flower power. With their third album, The Giraffes make you wanna spend every last damp dollar in the wallet chained to your greasy jeans, buying tequila shots for the leather-clad wet dream leaning on the end of the bar.

Tunes such as "Jr. at His Worst" and "Haunted Heaven" find crude poetry in the groan of over-revved guitars and artillery-fire drums, and lead singer Aaron Lazar growls like John Kay, Eric Bloom and John Lee Hooker rolled up into one.

This album is a genuine blast. Maybe The Giraffes are trying to be ironic, and the joke's on me. But I couldn't care less.

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