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Giraffes | Days are Filled with Years | review | indie | alternative | rock | Lollipop

The Giraffes

The Days are Filled with Years (Orange)
by Jamie Kiffel

Complete with an electric piano that sounds like a Mellotron, The Giraffes, starring Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America, make pop that is wacky, funny, goofily intelligent and singable -- without being as conscious of itself as David Byrne, and somehow avoiding the glue-sniffing lyrical confusion of They Might Be Giants. Yet for all its cleanly-produced, singable accessibility, this disc is deliciously weird, and guaranteed not to compromise any underground pop junkie's imports-and-rarities-only collection. Slow, groovy and sly, "I wanna kill the cake; I know you do too, for goodness' sake," Ballew sings joyously. Kill the cake?! Yet with slippy-slidy electric piano accompaniment and a great male tenor lead, I say you'd be hard-pressed to find a Billy Joel fan who wouldn't belt right along with this. "Gone Again Gone" is a slow, strange gem about a prophet or cult leader who leaves his followers rapt, alone, and wondering. The Giraffes drive the same sentiment closer to home with the painfully resonant "When She's Drunk" about a woman who only wants her man when she's under the influence. Countrified banjos and sweet harmonies with crazed lyrics about a man who gets drunk on scraps from the floor, seem fit for a Tarantino soundtrack or an R. Crumb record. This'd be the perfect disc to slide into a top-40 slot, insidiously whacking weird angles into the overregulated ears of society, and flexing the old wondering muscles just enough so we aren't quite sure what the hell is going on. After all, The Giraffes prove that not knowing is more than half the fun.
(520 W. Erie LL Chicago, IL 60610)


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