The Giraffes | Prime Motivator

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United States - NY - New York City

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Metal/Punk: New York Punk Rock: Rock & Roll Moods: Mood: Fun
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Prime Motivator

by The Giraffes

A genre defying mix punk, heavy metal, classic rock and roll, surf guitar rock with echoes of Eastern European and Middle Eastern traditional music surfacing in their riffs
Genre: Metal/Punk: New York Punk
Release Date: 

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1. Prime Motivator
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3:25 $0.99
2. Done
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4:27 $0.99
3. The Power of Fatherhood
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3:37 $0.99
4. Diskowarts
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2:11 $0.99
5. Allergic to Magnets
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2:43 $0.99
6. Medicaid Benefit Applique
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6:56 $0.99
7. Honest Men
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4:38 $0.99
8. Smoke Machine
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3:52 $0.99
9. Clever Girls
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5:07 $0.99
10. Sickness (This Is)
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2:31 $0.99
11. Clever Boy
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5:17 $0.99
12. Louis Gutherie Wants to Kill Me
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5:16 $0.99
13. E.S.F.
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4:10 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Prime Motivator, the 4th full-length from Brooklyn, NY surf-metal masters The Giraffes, is the band\'s crowning achievement to date. Having made their name with the twisted riff rock of both Helping You Help Yourself (2002) and The Giraffes (2005), alongside the more theatrical and evocative strains of A Gentleman Never Tells (2003), the band unflinchingly unites the two styles on Prime Motivator.

Prime Motivator finds The Giraffes at the peak of their powers, as the quartet performs at new levels of precision, aggression, abandon and exuberance. Lyrically, Prime Motivator - particularly the title track - was inspired by lead singer Aaron Lazar\'s multiple brushes with death in 2005 and 2008 (Lazar has a mysterious heart condition that causes him to literally drop dead without warning and has been outfitted with an implanted defibrillator as a precaution). The resulting record is an epic one; at turns urgent, belligerent, harrowing, oversexed, sardonic and sly, with the band\'s characteristic swagger - and arsenal of memorable riffs - always in full effect.

Prime Motivator was recorded at the legendary Rancho De La Luna studios in Joshua Tree, CA (Desert Sessions) by Dave Catching; engineered by Ed Monsef; and features guest vocals from Jessie \"The Devil\" Hughes and Melissa Auf Der Mar. Prime Motivator was mixed by Joel Hamilton at Studio G in Brooklyn (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) and mastered by Enoch Jensen at Eastlake recording in Boston MA.

Prime Motivator comes out on CD on Crustacean Records on 11/11/2008, but you can place advance orders at CD Baby.


Reviews


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Jake Turner

The Giraffes do it again!
I was completely blown away when I first heard The Giraffes' self-titled album from Razor & Tie, and after I heard that, I knew I wanted more. I anxiously waited for this album, and when I finally got it, I was not disappointed. This is one seriously great rock album that mixes things up with each song. No two tracks are the same; There are some flat out, balls-to-the-wall rocking tracks (Prime Motivator, Done, Smoke Machine), and there are some slightly more mellow tracks (Medicaid Benefit Applique, Louis Guthrie) that are wonderful as well. But make no mistake, this is a rock album, and an extremely solid one at that.

As far as musicianship goes, these guys are phenomenal. John delivers some seriously groovy bass lines, Andrew provides both solid and insane drumming, Damien just plain shreds/slays, and Aaron is a really great singer who can deliver both menacing screams and delicious harmonies.

Long story short, The Giraffes will put hair on your chest. If you enjoy rock music, you owe it to yourself to own this album, as well as the rest of The Giraffes' catalog. They are one of the best bands around right now, and you will not be disappointed!

Tris McCall

Jersey Independent Music
I devoted a few recent run-on sentences to Andrew McMahon's public battle with leukemia. McMahon doesn't mention the disease by name on The Glass Passenger, but he does sing about "marrows colliding", and that's grisly enough for me. Still, you rubberneckers out there might have been hoping for something a little more gruesome. Emo-pop is made mostly by young people for young people, so the subculture has no tradition of grotesque infirmary stories to draw on. No, for truly graphic descriptions of illness and body malfunctions, you've got to turn to the heavy stuff. Even before he had a pacemaker installed in his chest, Aaron Lazar's writing wasn't for the squeamish; after the heart attacks, he's upped the ante. Prime Motivator isn't the first Giraffes set to grapple with man's mortality, but it is Lazar's most direct statement of disgust with the flimsy state of these carcasses we're all dragging around the earth. So prepare yourself for ambulances, electric shocks, doctors, pacemakers, SSNs and I.C.U.s, feeding tubes, blood, and rope, seizures that have nothing to do with the DEA, and plenty of throwing dice with death. Old themes for the band, sure, but lived experience has sharpened and deepened them - the old Lazar wrote about the imaginary and romantic threat of a soccer-hooligan trampling, while the post-ER Lazar writes about the very real horror of caseworkers and Medicaid benefit applications. Consider this succinct verse from the horrifying "Allergic To Magnets": "Did it hurt?/ I can't decide/ I didn't see no other side at all/ there was no pain/ it felt like sleep/ it was not mystical/ and I didn't wave goodbye". He's oddly dispassionate about it all, and that's what's scariest about Prime Motivator. It's telling that the seven-minute waltz-time epic is the one about the civil servant, the "municipal girl"; the album may start out under the stage gels, but the most of these stories are set in the cold halls and beneath the buzzing fluorescent lights of institutions. Because The Giraffes are a notably intelligent band - definitely the quickest-thinking group working this territory - they were bound to turn to topical songwriting and social-critique. Lazar's issues probably made the move feel pressing to everybody involved, and luckily, few groups perform urgency as well as these guys can. Guitarist Damien Paris gives the impression that you can plug him in and turn on the switch, and he will riff and shred eternally, at deafening volume and formidable speed, powered forever by some infernal battery. Andrew Totolos used to be a little ham-fisted behind the kit, but no longer: he can still hammer a snare as hard as anybody, but as the outro to "Clever Girls" proves, he's gotten shockingly supple, too, almost (god forbid!) sophisticated. Traces of the gypsy-music, prog-rock, and surf-instrumentals that have always colored the band's music are in sharper focus here, or maybe they're just more judiciously-used - the metier remains heavy rock, and the group still slams home every note and phrase with the frenetic intensity of kids thwacking at a pinata. The Giraffes remain Lazar's show, though, and the frontman is up to every challenge thrown down by the band. On prior records, he's sometimes sounded like Morrissey's abusive older brother, but as Prime Motivator is his story, it's all been rendered in his own scimitar-swinging voice. He even tries his hand at a little close harmony from time to time (on "Done" in particular), and whenever he does, it's a reliably high-voltage experience for the listener. Lazar explains each song in the folded-up liner notes of the CD I was sent for review; I don't know if this is the standard packaging, but if it isn't, the "Louis Guthrie Wants To Kill Me" essay really ought to be reprinted elsewhere. Like maybe the news. Also, the mySpace page is worth a visit just to read the former bassist John Rosenthal's recent letter from Istanbul - it's the kind of obscenely-entertaining travel writing I am not at liberty to do on a family-friendly website such as this.

Tom Duffy

cmj.com
To lump the Giraffes into one genre would be difficult if not downright impossible. On Prime Motivator, their fourth full-length, the Brooklyn-based rockers return with an album littered with stoner rock riffs, thunderous punk drumming and slick surf rock melodies. Vocalist Aaron Lazar, who suffers from a heart condition which forced him to have a defibrillator implanted, sings with such grit and intensity that you're afraid the machine could be set off and shock him at any moment. On the title-track, Lazar speaks of his experiences with the infliction through lyrics such as, "I don't feel so fine/when the machine makes up it's mind," and, "If you want to try/this machine of mine/have a friend slam a crowbar into your chest/every time that you think you'll be catching your breath." The track, "Done," is an instant rock classic that combines a nasty Zeppelin-like guitar riff with Lazar's snide vocals, all drenched and dripping with distortion. The song, "Honest Man," with its sprawling bass lines and space rock infused vibe, sounds like it could have been plucked right off of Hawkwind's 1972 live recording, Space Ritual Volume 2.

The album includes guest appearances by Jessie "The Devil" Hughes and Melissa Auf Der Mar, and was produced at the legendary Rancho De La Luna Studios in Joshua Tree, CA by Dave Catching, who has lent his talents to such acts as Queens Of The Stone Age, Eagles Of Death Metal and the Mark Lanegan Band. Prime Motivator is a perfect example of a band taking the manic energy and raw intensity of their live shows with them into the studio and coming out with a fist-pumping, bong ripping masterpiece.