Another week another supergroup, right? Wrong. Nothing is expected on Broken Lines, the debut album from Giraffe Tongue Orchestra (GTO) - the new band featuring Brent Hinds from Mastodon, William DuVall from Alice In Chains, Ben Weinman from Dillinger Escape Plan and Thomas Pridgen, formerly of The Mars Volta.
With such an assortment of characters, the over/under on a crazy weird album is pretty good, right? Wrongo Dongo. The result is a surprisingly cohesive and well-crafted album that showcases not so much each members' idiosyncrasies, but the myriad of influences they each bring to the table, whether it's Hinds' love of surf music, Pridgen's past jazz experience or DuVall's unabashed love of Prince - as evidenced on tracks like "Everyone Gets Everything They Really Want". As strong as the gene pool for this experiment is (and this reviewer very much hopes this is more than a mere "experiment"), DuVall really is the breakout performer here, showcasing a range and ability far beyond what we've seen thus far in his work with A.I.C.
I'd say all members are working out of their comfort zones, but there's an ease and symbiosis at work in these tunes that would lead me to believe they're all very comfortable playing together - hopefully for many more years to come.