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Zebra and Giraffe are one of those few bands that translate effortlessly from album to stage to radio and I have always counted myself a fan. They didn’t quite make the impact one would hope for with their previous album and have taken their time with the creation of their latest product, Knuckles. Does time spent on an album add up to it’s impending success?

The album is an 8 track EP but features two acoustic versions of songs from the album. This addition certainly does not add any significant value to the album and in all honesty it just feels a bit lazy. The tracks are beautiful and emotional in their own right but it reminds me too much of my first Spice Girls single I ever bought. I was treated to 4 different versions of Wannabe, each one just different enough to be a new song but never as great as the original.

The songs are extremely radio friendly but I will not condemn them for this. Musicians need to eat and good radio play equals steak dinners. Yet I feel that none of these songs will particularly improve their phenomenal live shows. Goodbye starts heading in the right direction and the first single I’ve Been Bad is the closest they get to a hit in my eyes. The other songs just mosey along a seemingly generic formula.

The rational I’ve heard from bands regarding the release of an EP is that they try and give their fans smaller packages of higher quality material. Rather sell 5 truly remarkable songs that a full 13 tracks of mediocre tunes. I’m not entirely convinced that this was achieved in this case.

The quality is no doubt exceptional. Fantastic recording and production and that is something to be proud of. Carlin’s voice has also always been, simply put, incomparable and Mike has time after time cracked my top 10 lists of favorite drummers. They excel at creating a clean rock ‘n roll sound that bridges genres with a distinct intensity and emotion that they wrap their music in.

None of the tracks are particularly horrible and I will continue having it on my playlist, I will just not be requesting the songs any time soon. From a band of their caliber I expected Stadium anthems not agreeable background music…

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