The key to being a successful duo is to make your band sound larger than it actually is. Guitar/drum duo Guilty Giraffe does exactly that in their new album Server Error. Building upon their promising debut 2015 EP A Time to Slime, the duo’s new album shows a level of depth and maturity, which is rarely found in bands still in their initial stages.
Despite borrowing liberally at times like shoegaze pioneers, My Bloody Valentine, and influential noise rock duo, No Age, Guilty Giraffe is far from derivative. Rather than sounding like a copycat band, Guilty Giraffe blends numerous genres, including punk, noise, and shoegaze, but manages to sound fresh.
Consisting of singer/guitarist Mathew McGinnis and drummer Felipe Reis, the New York duo’s new album traverses a wide range of sounds, but is collectively cohesive and concise. The first track, “Doom Age” starts the album off at a frenetic pace with its hard charging guitar and metal drumming. What’s interesting is that “Doom Age,” bears little resemblance to the album’s closing track “The Slug Life, which is a harmonious instrumental akin to ‘90s stoner rock. It’s also worth noting that Server Error was a DIY effort with McGinnis and Reis serving as producers and mixers.
Although the album weaves in and out of musical styles, it is most successful when it leans toward shoegaze and dream pop. Heavier tracks like “Punk Song” add diversity to the album, which will please punk and metal fans alike, but the album's melodic efforts like “Going to California” and “When the Rent is Due” are the most engaging and warrant the most attention. If you didn’t hear “Going to California” within the context of this album, you might think it was an obscure song from the 1990s that you somehow missed, which isn't a bad thing.
Due to this diverse and eclectic range of sounds, it’s impossible to categorize Server Error as one genre or another. Collectively, the ten-track album features elements of punk, shoegaze, noise, alternative, dream pop and experimental—all while carving out a sound of its own.
Based on the progression the band has shown from its debut EP to now, Guilty Giraffe is a band that deserves to attention among both casual music fans and the most discerning music aficionados.
Guilty Giraffe’s new album Server Error is available from Mint 400 Records. You can stream the album in its entirety on Spotify or check out several tracks on Guilty Giraffe’s Bandcamp page. For more information on Guilty Giraffe, you can visit them on Facebook.
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