During their initial run together between 1996-2011, the NYC-based quartet The Giraffes developed a reputation for a brutally intense live show, and as a result the band shared stages with an impressive list of renowned artists including Local H, Eagles of Death Metal, Vacation, Skeleton Key, Interpol, Fishbone, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Strokes, as well as made appearances at Amsterjam, Voodoofest, Monolith, SXSW and Bonnaroo Festivals, which expanded the quartet’s profile nationally. 2014 saw a number of reunion shows in Brooklyn and Denver featuring three of the band’s founding members, Aaron Lazar (vocals), Damien Paris (guitar) and Andrew Totolos (drums), along with the band’s newest member, Josh Taggart (bass). And the response the band received was so overwhelmingly positive that the newly reformed quartet wrote a batch of new material that wound up comprising the band’s long-awaited and highly-anticipated sixth full-length effort Usury, which was released last year.
Now, if you had been frequenting this site over the past year or so, you may recall that I’ve written about two of Usury’s singles — “Product Placement Song,” a song that pairs Lazar’s ironic and withering criticism on contemporary American consumerism with a primal and sludgy stoner rock-inspired power chords and enormously towering drumming and sounds as though it could have been on Queens of the Stone Ages’ Rated R and Songs for the Deaf. The album’s second single “Blood Will Run” is as the band mentioned to the folks at Revolver, a throwback metal song — in the veins of Badmotorfinger and Superunknown-era Soundgarden, Dirt-era Alice in Chains, and others; however, structurally, the song begins as a slow-burning, brooding dirge before building up speed with stoner metal/heavy metal power chords, thundering drumming, howled lyrics and weird time signature changes with the song being comprised of three or four major sections held together by a tight rhythm section that propels the song towards its conclusion. Usury’s third and latest single “Washing Machine” continues along a similar vein as the song is a swaggering, bro0ding and slow burning dirge that nosily builds up an unresolved tension until the song briefly peters out and pauses, before its eventual conclusion.
The recently released music video for the song points towards the dichotomy we all seem to have between our decadent and fucked up desires and fantasies and our mundane everyday lives — in this case, both manage to bleed into each other in a way that’s urgent, sexually charged and absolutely depraved.