Title - 'Usury' [Silver Sleeve Records]
Artist - The Giraffes
Back a few months ago, the foundation of Lightyear Entertainment, Silver Sleeve Records, released it's very first signing: The Giraffes! Based in Brooklyn, Silver Sleeve is dedicated to releasing Hard/Fast/Loud/Punk/Psych/Surf/Metal music from stunning emerging artists all over the globe and so it was a no-brainer that The Giraffes became that signing.
The Giraffes is a hard rock band from New York originally active from 1996 to 2011. In 2014 the Giraffes reformed to their original lineup featuring lead singer Aaron Lazar, guitarist Damien Paris, drummer Andrew Totolos, with the addition of bassist Josh Taggart.
Their last official album was Tales of the Black Whistle (2012) via Apesauce Records (don't get me started on that collection of rarities and b-sides OR the somewhat ill-fated Tales of the Black Whistle in 2013, which featured female vocalists instead of Lazar!), but here on the quite brilliant Usury EP, well, all previously known bets about the band are off! They are back, as hungry as ever, as loud as ever, and as deliciously madcap as ever! And look at that art work! Now THAT's got to tell you that the band mean business this time around!
From the opening track of Usury (a term that means the practice of making unethical or immoral monetary loans that unfairly enrich the lender) onward, The Giraffes’ lead singer Aaron Lazar bellows lyrics like “All will emerge unscathed, 'cause it’s every single dream we’ve ever ever made,” and you just believe in everything he imparts, right there and then - and ever onward! Buried in amongst the storytelling of this EP the band even get topical on such tracks like both "Facebook Rant” and “Product Placement.” In closing, the musical ambiance of this new release is more of a throwback to an era that they took by the balls, and not a comeback, per say. It has all the right sentiments of today combined with enough "teenage angst" to propel it into the hearts, minds and souls of those devoted Giraffe followers once again, for sure.