The Giraffes

The Giraffes

13 Other Dimensions

My Own Planet

When I first heard the Presidents of the United States of America’s first album, months before radio would pounce upon it and burn it to a crisp, I was struck by how much fun the band was having. The songs were goofy, the music unusual and catchy (to say the least), and the whole thing was an energetic blast. Their follow-up album, though still good, somehow sounded tired in comparison; their coda (Pure Frosting, a collection of live tracks, B-sides and oddities) made it clear that the term “flash in the pan” might apply to the band’s success, but not their talent.

To let the cat out of the bag, The Giraffes, though purportedly a band composed of stuffed animals, is actually the work of Chris Ballew, ex-President. 13 Other Dimensions easily recaptures the jolt I felt when I first heard PUSA, and I am mighty relieved. Thirteen tracks of pure smiling satisfaction, catchy melodies, oddly-shaped songs and inexplicable lyrics — an album that’s right up my alley and that’s sure to satisfy all who already miss the departed Presidents. Tracks like “Lonely Chicken” and “Nuthin’ To Looz” continue Ballew’s songwriting tradition, while “Little Champion” and “Ghost of a Bad Friend” display an emerging and evolving style, introspective without being overtly self-involved or sappy. Everyone should buy this album and start the cycle over again… My Own Planet Recordings, P.O Box 95921, Seattle, WA 95921; michelev@earthlink.net

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