“Supergroups” are one of those things that a lot of people get excited about; musicians from some of your favourite bands teaming together to bang out an album and sneak a tour in. I find it best not to get over excited, especially after the recent Gone Is Gone album not being as “full on” as the initially released song. Killer Be Killed, on the other hand, was an example of this scenario hitting every spot. Giraffe Tongue Orchestra’s Broken Lines is almost at that same level. Almost.
Broken Lines for the most part pelts out some hefty riffs, thanks to Brent Hinds (of Mastodon), and some fantastic, catchy as fuck vocals delivered by William Duvall (Alice In Chains). A lot of varying styles of writing and playing are crammed into this album, from the softer ballad All We Have Is Now to the huge thumper Blood Moon. There are some definite metal and funk influences weaved in, and plenty of energy blistering through the first half of the album. However, depending on your tastes, some of the more progressive nature could easily start to lose you through the latter half, where the vibes tend to shift from poppier verses into a softer edge.
Which leads me onto the one problem I have with Broken Lines. All the way through to Track 6 Back To The Light you won’t be going more than a minute without an internal “Fuck Yeah!” But thereafter, the shift in energy can easily make the end of the album feel like more of a drag, and definitely less of a buzz to listen to, so much so that the better moments of Everyone Gets Everything They Really Want and the fantastic closing in Broken Lines are almost lost in effect.
Not that Broken Lines is a bad album, because it is far from that, I have felt plenty of buzz just from thinking about giving the record a spin, and it could easily be one of the most pleasant musical surprises of 2016 for me. Something about the whole sound feels, not entirely fresh or unique, but different enough of this year’s releases to stand about, and written well enough to keep you coming back. And despite the vibe shift midway, it is hardly a complaint, especially compared to hed (P.E.)’s last two albums…
Jake Hancke – 28/12/2016