Thursday, 31 July 2014

I’ll Rust With You by Steam Powered Giraffe- Single Review

I’ll rust with you is the latest single from their third album, MK III, complete with a charming video.

The video is an enhanced live performance of the song; every member has their charm turned up to 101%, particularly Bunny, who takes lead vocals in this chirpy bouncy 1950’s love pop song.

It’s fun and addictive and makes you want to dance as we see Bunny swirl her new skirt excitedly with the piano, her honey smooth voice croons as Hatch Worth and Spine provide candy floss backing vocals.

Its simple melody makes you sway your body and bob your head in time, smiling as it fills you up and gets stuck in your head. You press play for the third time in a happy trance.

It’s love on first listen.

It’s sweet and innocent in la la land and you never want to go home.  


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Steam Powered Giraffe- Article

I recently came across an American band, hailing from San Diego, called Steam Powered Giraffe. With their heavenly harmonises, quirky robot characters, quick wit and joyous songs, they have quickly stolen my heart. They describe themselves a ‘pantomime band’, as they don’t just play music, they perform, ad-lib, cover songs and entertain with original songs.  

It all started in 2008 by twins David and Isabella Bennett, or The Spine and Bunny/Rabbit. They already have three albums, numerous awards, including the Best Live Comedy act and a DVD under their belt. All this equating to reasonable success in America but are lesser known over the pond. Despite not being around all that long the band has gone through a few changes. In 2013  they introduced an actaul 'metal' giraffe into the stage shows and music video, its named GG and is powered by Bunny. The Jon, Jonathan Sprague, was replaced by Hatchworth, Sam Luke, a previous background band member in 2012. In my opinion this much improved the band as Hatchworth is a much more dynamic character, the joker of the pack, and a better musician and singer. Isabella herself has been transitioning from male to female over the last few years and in 2013 they decided her robot should change also, hence to birth of Bunny. As you can image this caused quite a stir amongst fans, although the overall consensus has been positive and their popularity has continued to grow.  I agree with the change as it fits in with their family ethos of anti-discrimination, drugs and alcohol. Plus robots have no sex or gender so why shouldn’t she start wearing dresses?

Their musical style is hard to pin down. It’s unusual and changes frequently. The overall tone is fun, classy and old fashioned done in a modern way. The second album ‘The 2₡ Show’ from 2012 contains one of their stand out songs, the hypnotic ‘Honeybee’; a robots lament over lost love. It has a simple chiming guitar, clever lyrics and beautiful harmonies. While ‘Brass Goggles’ from the debut ‘Album One’ from 2009 is a quirky song about being a robot. It’s got a 1940’s dance hall feel with its dancing piano. While ‘Fancy Shoes’ from the third album MK III is funky with a little dark hint and spoken parts. Beyond all the fun and gimmicks they are talented song writers who also manage do to good cover songs, something frequently done but rarely done well. Examples include acoustic versions of ‘Diamond’ by Rhianna and ‘Harder, Better Faster’ by Daft Punk. The first being a solo by David/Spine and featuring GG the giraffe, while the other is a recent cover featuring Hatch Worth and the newly upgraded Bunny.

While the style changes they are consistently brilliant and have some of the best harmonies I have ever heard.  They are enchanting characters and people, each entirely different. The Spine is the mature robot, the leader of sorts. Bunny is erratic and childlike, full of life, similar to Hatch Worth who seems quite a confused individual but doesn’t malfunction nearly as often as Bunny. They have a large ever growing online community with talented fan art and comics appearing all over. The bands response to this is to be as active online as they came, doing video pod casts where they answer questions put to them on forums, posting interviews and comics and art of their own. Sam and Isabella have both recently started posting web comics, Isabella’s you can find on their official website.

I have high hopes for them and hope they become popular enough to start touring and selling albums here in the UK, and from there worldwide.