Skip to main content

Giraffe Tongue Orchestra album review: Broken Lines

As oxymorons go, ‘supergroup’ must be right up there; for every Them Crooked Vultures, a Bad English. So where does that leave Giraffe Tongue Orchestra?

Giraffe Tongue Orchestra

Comprised of members of Alice In Chains, the Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon and the Mars Volta, this is a clever hybrid of prog, hard rock and dance; there’s even a full-blown power ballad (that’s part The Tubes, part Kate Bush atmospherics) in the shape of All We Have Is Now.

It helps that all the band members share a musical heritage that is probably best described as ‘unconventional’, so creating an album on which the thundering Fragments & Ashes (with its nods towards AIC and Mastodon) can sit happily alongside a song like Everyone Gets Everything They Really Want (with its sporadic Dillinger-like funk and horn parts) seems and sounds like the most natural thing in the world.

The top 20 best supergroups

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion. He ghosted Carl Barat’s acclaimed autobiography, Threepenny Memoir, and helped launch the BBC 6 Music network as producer and co-presenter on the Phill Jupitus Breakfast Show. Five years later he and Jupitus fronted the hugely popular Perfect 10 podcast and live shows. His debut novel, Cross Country Murder Song, was described, variously, as ‘sophisticated and compelling’ and ‘like a worm inside my brain’. His latest novel The Death And Life Of Red Henley is out now.