Zebra & Giraffe: Knuckles CD Review

Review by Floris Groenewald (@Flrsi)

Photo by Ross Garrett

“I will bleed until you love me/Start the healing when you trust me”, sings the SAMA Award winners who are back for their fourth album. Zebra & Giraffe’s latest release, Knuckles, is more of their familiar Alternative Rock sound, with a rockier, more guitar-heavy sound than some of their previous work. Clean guitars complement lyrics which lean towards the “bruises & dried blood” end of the emotional spectrum. It sounds like the kind of songs that were sang long after midnight, breaking the silence of peaceful sleep without worry of waking the neighbours.

The track Knuckles, specifically, feels like a post-bar fight regrouping – are all my fingers still there, on the ends of my numb hands?

Dive (Into the Deep End) starts with the act of diving into water, adds sexual imagery like “I wanna watch your back arch when you feel pleasure”, and progresses to the scary, dark, bordering-on-necrophilia: “I wanna kiss your cold lips under the water – forever in the deep end we won’t grow older”.

The album’s opening line – “I’ve been burnt a hundred times” – and dark grey cover artwork add to the scary, gritty feel that drives this album, but track #3, Dancing, calms things down and provide a sonically brighter, more hopeful outlook than the rest. The silver lining, I guess.


Zebra & Giraffe - photo by Ross Garrett

Zebra & Giraffe – photo by Ross Garrett


It’s really more of an EP than an album – the 6 main tracks make up a 23 minute running time, which is increased to 32 minutes when including the two iTunes exclusive “Stripped down” tracks. These are non-acoustic, but sparse, singer-songwriter style arrangements of  Knuckles and Dive.

Knuckles is a collected, thought-out album, which lives up both to the band’s previous work, and to other things we’ve heard coming out of Openroom Productions’ door, under Darryl Torr’s producer guidance. It’s definitely an album we’ll be hearing a lot more of, and will hit every Zebra & Giraffe fan just where and how they like it.


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