Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music
cover art

The Giraffes

Ruled

(Crustacean; US: 24 May 2011; UK: Import)

Eclectic mix of hard and moderate rockers

The Giraffes is one of those bands that seems in love with the word eclectic. On Ruled, the band’s fifth full-length, songs veer precipitously from the hardcore edge of “The Border”‘s pummelling rhythms and spitfire vocals to the mellow, Pink Floyd-esque follow-up track “The Bed”, with its recurring chorus reminiscent of Dark Side of the Moon. Between these two extremes lies plenty of musical terrain, which the quartet explores with results that are generally engaging. “The City” benefits from a scratchy-guitar opening and shout-along final two minutes, while “The Store” slows down the proceedings for a meandering stroll through space-jam territory, which is more than welcome given the freneticism that precedes it. Album closers “The War” and “The Occupation” certainly seem to be making a statement about something, but don’t expect any Neil Young Living with War-type sloganeering. These guys are more concerned with power chordage and psychadelic effects than with offering any cogent commentary on world events. For a rock band, that’s probably just as well.

Rating:

DAVID MAINE is a novelist and essayist. His books include The Preservationist (2004), Fallen (2005), The Book of Samson (2006), Monster, 1959 (2008) and An Age of Madness (2012). He has contributed to The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Esquire.com and NPR.com, among other outlets. He is a lifelong music obsessive whose interests range from rock to folk to hip-hop to international to blues. He currently lives in western Massachusetts, where he works in human services. Catch up with his blog, The Party Never Stops, at davidmaine.blogspot.com, or become his buddy on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or whatever you prefer) to keep up with reviews and other developments.


Media
Related Articles
6 Jan 2009
Hard rockin' Brooklynites wanna take you down to the infirmary
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.