Little Known A+ Albums…

…a great review about The Giraffes album 13 Other Dimensions:

Little Known A+ Albums: #7: 13 Other Dimensions by The Giraffes – The Joepinion

While talking about the Giraffes album, here is a review done by Mike Lyon from way way back: (thanks to I managed to save it. Note to self: I need to add this to pusabase media section)

The Giraffes – 13 Other Dimensions – Album Review – Mike Lyon

As I plug in the album for the first time, here are my impressions of the song as I listen to each one! –

Chocolate Dimension – Chris does the Beatles? Damn straight. This psychedelic puppy gives you a good feel for Chris’ “new” style, which is actually quite reminiscent of the early PUSA 4 track stuff. A good funky song, though. Listening to this song, I’ve got high hopes for the rest of the album.

Lonely Chicken – Strange! Really reminds me of early PUSA 4 track stuff, as I said with the 1st track. Some really funny lines in there, I’m kicking back and just enjoying this one; lots of great instrumental stuff!

Hopeless (Rub It In) – This song jams, with Chris rockin out some incredible piano riffs. Also, listen for references to “Peanuts” pianist Vince Guaraldi (talk about obscure references!), and also to Chris’ obsession with pre-WWI culture. Could’ve been a PUSA tune. Truly awesome!

Every Crocodile – A slow, plodding guitar progression starts off this number. The lyrics fire up and BAM, you’re in psychedelic land. That definitely seem to be the theme for this album. Anyway, this song is truly bizarre. The chorus is just weird, the song is just weird, Chris’ voice itself is distorted, and there’s also a strange organ solo. Don’t know what to make of it yet ^_^

Comin’ Around – A lost-love song in a true early-80s vein. I wasn’t so sure at first, but as the song finishes up, I really dig this one; very subdued and ironic lyrics, that are quite intelligent. Also short as hell, like a minute and a half long…

Nuthin 2 Looz – Kicking! The guitar is funky as hell, that seems to be another theme of this album. Totally non-PUSA style, but this song really does kick out the jams. Some weird ass electric keyboard shit laces this song with a definite aura of funk. Very acoustic, kind of reminds me of Bath of Fire…

Brain on Yer Tongue – Wow! There’s a totally catchy riff that starts this one out. This song is so 70s that it’s scary! I mean, really, if I had no clue who had written this, I would’ve been wondering which hippie band had written it ^_^. I really, really like this song, it’s all about a romance, and it’s very quirky and exactly what you’d expect from the guy who wrote “Stranger”.

(a quick note – It’s hard adjusting to hearing Chris’ voice in these kinds of songs (slow and psychedelic), when you’re used to hearing him in rok tunes.)

Little Champion – Okay. Now, I’m a pretty big Beatles fan. And this song IS a Beatles song. I mean, it’s not really, but it sounds EXACTLY like something you’d hear on Rubber Soul. This song is really moving, I think. It’s all about this great victory, yet the music starts out very subdued and sad, and then suddenly, it fucking EXPLODES! This is great, a real highlight of the album so far, although very Beatles-derivative.

Pale Moon – Yet another ballad-esque song. I’m kind of starting to get sick of this style of song, but WAIT! There goes the chorus, and it kicks. Still slow, but with a glorious riff. Plenty of good old bug-and-animal references, PUSA style! This album is definitely mellow. This song kind of reminds me of Monkey River, actually.

Ghost of a Bad Friend – You gotta dig the lyrics in this song. This is straight-up Johnny Cash-style acoustic rock. Still pretty slow, I guess all the songs are gonna have this mellow feel. I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about when I say this, but this song would be incredible with an orchestra backing Chris.

Slow Slow Fly – (*snap) Wake up! A song that ain’t a slow ballad! And it’s got Ms. Monkey, of “Tremelo Blooz” fame! This song grooves, I mean, this song has SERIOUS groove quality. A great song, I know I’ll be listening to this one a lot.

Poodle Mouth – Lay back, folks, it’s another psychedelic song! Just in terms of tempo and lyrics and everything, this song is about as far from PUSA as any song can get ^_^ I can’t make up my mind about this one. The end is kind of cool.

Whither Without You – The album closer, I’ll admit I’m nervous. Let’s see… Straightforward guitar drives the beginning to this song, WHOA, then there’s this like, total shift to keyboard stuff. I dig the chorus, this is a good song, but maybe a little weak to end an album on.

New Impressions on the Occasion of my 20th listen –

Alright, this album is fucking incredible. I’ll give you it to you short and sweet –

The Highlights

* Chocolate Dimension
* Lonely Chicken
* Hopeless (Rub It In)
* Nuthin’ 2 Looz
* Brain on Yer Tung
* Ghost of a Bad Friend
* Slow Slow Fly

Songs That Kick and You Will Have No Qualms Listening To Them, Although You Probably Won’t Put Them On Constant Repeat Like The Ones Listed Above. (Whew!)

* Comin’ Around
* Little Champion
* Pale Moon
* Whither Without You

And That Leaves…

* Every Crocodile
* Poodle Mouth

Both are fine songs, Poodle Mouth is actually quite groovy, but they are, I suppose you could say, the least best songs on an album full of nothing but incredible songs. Really, listening to this album harkens me back to the days when I would play PUSA I over and over constantly.

Put simply, this album is about as much fun as an album gets. The songs are hooky and catchy (hey, whaddaya expect from Chris?), and they are incredibly well composed. Whereas PUSA was really about rokin’ out in a straightforward, non-pretentious kind of way, on this album Chris is all about looping funky and complex tracks; he is a truly brilliant composer on ANY instrument, appearantly! Anyway, if you don’t own it, you don’t know what you’re missing.

Mike Lyon