Giraffe Tongue Orchestra album review – Broken Lines

Star-studded lineup of supergroup Giraffe Tongue Orchestra shines on its debut album

Giraffe Tongue Orchestra debut album cover

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Rare is the self-billed ‘supergroup’ that has truly fulfilled the promise of its lineup. Then along comes Giraffe Tongue Orchestra.

Founded in 2012 by guitarists Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Brent Hinds of Mastodon, the GTO lineup has finally come together with frontman William DuVall of Alice In Chains, bassist Pete Griffin (ex-Dethklok) and drummer Thomas Pridgen (ex-Mars Volta), their long-awaited debut showcasing a stylistic ambition that extends far beyond some arbitrary midpoint between the feeder bands.

Riffs abound; from the paint-stripping roar of Adapt Or Die to the proggy siege of No-One Is Innocent, GTO showcase a transfixing blend of addictive melodies, bare-knuckled aggression and starry-eyed experimentalism reminiscent of mid-90s Faith No More. On surging belters like Crucifixion, quirky hooks and spiralling melodies erupt into a dizzying vortex of hair-blowing riffs amid DuVall’s brawny, skyscraping vocals. And just when you think you’ve finally tuned into the vibe, all lingering expectations dissolve with the pulsating, dancefloor-filling disco-bomb, Everyone Gets Everything They Really Want, or an eye-moistening power ballad like All We Have Is Now. While Broken Lines lacks that unforgettable, arena-stoking singalong, its earwormy melodies, stunning depth and acres of tasty hooks demand a spot in this fall’s heavy rotation.

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.