Review: Giraffe Aftermath – Sleepless Nights

Review: Giraffe Aftermath – Sleepless Nights

Giraffe Aftermath – Sleepless Nights
Track Listing:
1.) Lion Man
2.) Paranoia
3.) This Night
4.) Cops and Cabs
5.) Money
6.) Who Are You
7.) Happiness
8.) Grow Up Child
9.) Weight of the World
10.) Sleepless Nights
11.) So Tired
12.) Throw Your Mind
13.) Cool with Me
14.) Positive

The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: May 5th, 2011

Group Background:
In 2006 Giraffe Aftermath front men Steve Hackenbruch and Luke de Villiers began composing and recording original music just for fun. In 2007 They decided to officially form Giraffe Aftermath and released their first album shortly after. The songwriting duo is normally caught on stage with Paul Steffes and other peripheral musicians around the Vancouver area in British Columbia. Their unprecedented blend of roots reggae with some hip-hop characteristics preempted shows with nationally and internationally known acts such as The Black Seeds, Roots Underground, and John Brown’s Body. Giraffe Aftermath’s music is self-produced, engineered, and mixed by core members Steve and Luke. Their sophomore album Sleepless Nights is no different; mixing and recording all day and night in their self-constructed recording studio in co-front man Steve Hackenbruch’s bedroom.

Album Review:
I am incredibly stoked for the summer that is sneaking up quickly. It’s when many reggae musicians come out of hibernation and drop a release hoping to fill that void on sunny days and spring time barbeques, tailgates, and other ways of enjoying life with nature pending on your geographical location of course. With Sleepless Nights, Giraffe Aftermath promotes the good seasons from the coldest of North America’s countries.

Almost a year ago I remember picking up a collection of songs submitted by Giraffe Aftermath at The Pier’s MP3 Massive page. There are still a number of songs from it I listen to regularly such as Money, Always on my Mind, and Cedar Hill. It’s got a number of highpoints; Sleepless Nights is an expansion of their true talents and their previous release.

There is no dispute about what genre Giraffe Aftermath falls under. Trance-inducing beats, precise skanks, and succulent but mellow basslines are the basics of Sleepless Nights. The second layer consists of the special effects and supporting instruments. The third layer and frosting on the cake is the vocals. Throughout the album it feels like you are listening to at least four different singers. Sometimes I hear a Steel Pulse influence and I also heard a voice similar to Ted Bowne’s, lead singer of Passafire. The lead vocals are similar in their past release as well; the difference is the elevated role of the back-up vocals. They create the harmony in one of my favorites Cops and Cabs, where you will hear two different voices in some of the verses. This song is themed around the police as you could imagine: “Cops and Cabs always tryin’ to slow me down”. The song progresses to a synth keyboard solo, it sounds really defined against such a raw and mellow rhythm.

I also enjoy their remake of their original song titled Money, which was featured in a prior release. It starts out with a trancy dub and echoing hammer-on-and-offs (a technique involving little to no picking) on the electric guitar. It then breaks into a heavy, slow bass line and skank combination. “‘cause they say you got to work to live, and to live you’ve got to work”, a line sung to encompass a social issue caused by the desire for money.

They have plenty of songs not dealing with social issues. The first track Lion Man also involves a harmonious use of vocals. It instantly made me happier after I listened. Many tracks have folk-like lyrics. They told stories to emphasize their message and I found many analogies as well. Positive is a song full of metaphors. Many songs content-wise are in the form of a personal reflection that is portrayed to listeners. This Night is also a favorite on this release. It is a song sung to a lover, and uses nature to mold comparisons and analogies. —“Cast me like a stone through the waters of your soul”.

Honestly one of my favorites of 2011 so far!

Written & Reviewed by: Matt Emodi

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]