It’s hard to deny that Giraffe Tongue Orchestra’s constitute components – namely, [inhales] William DuVall (Alice In Chains), Brent Hinds (Mastodon), Ben Weinman (Dillinger Escape Plan), Thomas Pridgen (The Mars Volta) and Pete Griffin (Dethklok) and [breathe] – have bonded well. In recent years there’s been a raft of ego-led supergroups talking up the pleasure of getting back to “rock’s roots” etc, but ultimately doing nothing of note with the talent at their disposal.
GTO’s debut makes a pitch for heavy progression and allows room for all of its accomplished line-up: Broken Lines has Hind’s bell-like arpeggios ringing all over it, Back To The Light offers more than a hint of The Mars Volta in its space funk warp and Adapt Or Die finds a home for both Hinds’ unhinged leads and Weinman’s own brand of digitised shred – all neatly underpinned by DuVall and Griffin’s rawk pedigree.
It’s not flawless: clumsy lyrics, like Crucifixion’s ‘leave no trace of this rat race’, undermine the deft instrumental work and feel embarrassingly sixth form from a group of seasoned musos. But while the idea of a ‘progressive supergroup’ might seem oxymoronic, GTO have come closer than most to making it a palatable reality.