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VISITING ACTS ‌ It’s a Zoo

Brooklyn punk rockers make nasty

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The Giraffes: Would you let your friends attend a show by the likes of these guys?
  • The Giraffes: Would you let your friends attend a show by the likes of these guys?
The Giraffes
w/ Skeleton Key
Sat. Feb. 11
10 p.m.
$10 ($8 adv.)
Village Tavern
1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.
884-6311
www.village-tavern.com

Ahhh, giraffes ... makes you picture docile creatures with long, elegant necks stretching up to pluck ripe green leaves from the trees.

Now, imagine The Giraffes: Rowdy, razor-sharp punk rockers whose machine-gun drums and hyper kinetic guitars meet up in a blistering haze to form what they call "metal for those who get laid" or, more succinctly, "cock in mouth rock."

"Once upon a time, The Giraffes were a little sweeter," insists lead growler, er, singer, Aaron Lazar. "They were more indie rock ... when indie rock wasn't so faggy."

Lazar and his bandmates in the Brooklyn smart-metal outfit cut to the chase, just as they do with their music. The Giraffes' 2005 eponymous release, their first proper foray into the mainstream record biz (on Razor & Tie, the label that brought us the illustrious Kidz Bop series), is a fiery record that bears more than a fleeting comparison to Queens of the Stone Age, with an undercurrent of jagged, '70s classic-rock and sleazy grandiosity. Says Lazar, "I mean, if you're gonna sound like you love Iggy Pop, you better act like you love Iggy Pop."

The Giraffes comes complete with some wicked cover art, its own Parental Advisory sticker (which, when pointed out, made Lazar snicker and mumble something about the band's "insurmountable" tendency toward expletives), and a thumbs-up from the naughty folk at Penthouse — a perfect preview of the spooky, sexy sounds inside.

Lazar's grimy voice resonates with urgency, punctuating the warped guitars and insane drums that run a constant thread through The Giraffes. Tracks like "Sugarbomb" revel in retro-infused, guitar-driven hard rock, while others, like "Wage Earner" straddle the line between an evolved version of speed-metal and mid-'90s prog-rock.

All of this translates well to The Giraffes' live show, which is even 10 times more hell-bent than their records. "We consciously go out there and try to make stuff that's hard to talk over," says Lazar. "If you go and get a beer and all of it spilled before you get back to the front, that's what I'm talking about. I like to fuck with the crowd and I like a crowd that likes to fuck with me back."

NYC's Skeleton Key (L to R) Sean Sankey, Benjamin Clapp, Erik Sanko, and Craig LeBlang ... not part of any local blues festival
  • NYC's Skeleton Key (L to R) Sean Sankey, Benjamin Clapp, Erik Sanko, and Craig LeBlang ... not part of any local blues festival

New York's Skeleton Key — bassist, vocalist, and musical tour guide Erik Sanko (formerly of The Lounge Lizards), guitarist Craig LeBlang, drummer Sean Sankey, and "junk player" Dr. Benjamin "The Boise Kierkegaard" Clapp — came onto the scene in the late '90s with an unusual pile of noisy-but-melodic rock tunes propelled by loud, junky, workshop noises. The band is back in town in support of a new five-song EP titled The Lyons Quintet (Do-Tell).

Paired with the eerie, rhythmic bent of Skeleton Key, The Giraffes' show promises to serve your eardrums on a platter — Lazar will make sure of it. "I would rather have a disastrous blowout than something that's received with polite restraint."

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