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.
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