You know those wanky blowhards who like to plug in and DESTROY™ at Guitar Center? They sound like this: “wheedle-eee-wheedle-eee-wheeedle-eee-wah,” which translates into English as: “I’ve not gotten laid by anyone other than myself in a long time, possibly forever, but look at this nice Stratocaster.” Damien Paris’s showy, unbridled guitaring has a bit of this quality—his had to have been an adolescence filled with zit cream and Rush—but I disagree with claims that the Giraffes are “ridiculous.”
Overt is the new understated, and the Giraffes make tasteful seem stupid and over-the-top decadence seem exciting in a sexy, vulgar, campy nighttime way. Paris’s guitar playing is Janet Jackson’s breast, Kelis’s milkshake, Paris Hilton’s midriff. He’s got it, and he flaunts it. Live, that is. On the Brooklyn quartet’s new EP, A Gentlemen Never Tells, he trades histrionics for beautiful if somewhat restrained Andalusian arpeggios and flamenco flourishes. Over this, coolly charismatic singer Aaron Lazar spins dark tales of hitchhikers, murder, and vampire sex. It’s an oddly compelling little curio—a departure from their regular slash-and-burn sleaze—but they’ll be back to showing us their tits in no time.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 2, 2004