Zebra & Giraffe
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Zebra & Giraffe

Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa | INDIE

Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa | INDIE
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Desirable Dance-Pop"


THE odd artist's (the nom de plume of Joburg's Greg Carlin) may help or hinder his career, depending on the open-mindedness of his listeners, but everything else about Collected Memories speaks immediately of quality...Musically, the immediate touchstone is Franz Ferdinand, with Carlin combining serrated guitars and keyboard electronica...The first single The Knife is forceful Brit-pop, probably exceeded in catchiness and dancefloor potential by the follow-up release Arm Yourself, all of which should ensure both immediate impact. Later in the tracklisting, Oxymoron develops the "dance" part of the album's general dance-pop feel, achieving the difficult feat of not sounding like a bad erasure cover.

Collected Memories should have wide appeal in terms of both age range and nationality, so get in and claim Carlin as your own before you end up reading about him in the international press. (Bruce Dennil) - Citizen Newspaper


Atmospheric, sophisticated electro-pop that kicks into punky ballsiness just when it needs to. Rocking quality in the vein of New Order and The Killers, and every bit as good... (5 Stars) - FHM

"Zebra & Giraffe - Collected Memories (Review)"

(Translated from Afrikaans)

A little Bloc Party and a little Muse... with a South African flavour.

This is Zebra & Giraffe - one of the coolest new bands in the South African music scene.

The first time you listen to the album 'Collected Memories', its hard to believe that the Johannesburg band is local. When you see the video for 'The Knife' its even harder to believe that they're from South Africa.

The band write on their website zebraandgiraffe.co.za that 'The Knife' finds its inspiration in the dark side of electronica like pioneers New Order and Joy Division.

In other songs like 'Black Crow' the band explores more atmospheric soundscapes combined with harder guitar parts and basslines.

It makes you proud when you realize Zebra & Giraffe is indeed South African. Zebra & Giraffe is fresh and different and is nothing less than brilliant. The quality of the album production (as well as the video) exceeds expectations.

Buy it, please, its good! - Beeld (Newspaper)

"Zebra & Giraffe - Collected Memories (Review)"

So let's assume you've now read all about this band (a.k.a Greg Carlin) as featured elsewhere within the pages of this issue and are even mildly curious and hopefully even inspired to check him out - here is where it happens. First song out the gate is the first single 'The Knife', grabbing attention with some catchy synth stabs that gets the toe tapping and finger clicking with little resistance, before erupting into a full throttle guitar assault dropping back just to let Carlin's voice take over and that's where it all comes together and you're locked in. Two chords and a chorus in and you're thinking "not bad!" Moments later you're thinking "Wow" and then "How?" Moments after that you're dancing around the lounge/office like a drunken teenager at a high school social. Nice; it's a beautifully put together album and there are high hopes for a strong prolonged career here.

Jon Monsoon - BPM Magazine (June 2008)

"Zebra & Giraffe - Collected Memories (Review)"

This rock solid debut by Jo'burg-based multi-instrumentalist Greg Carlin features 10 personal songs that are firmly rooted in modern rock and influenced heavily by 80's electronica and 90's alternative rock. Standout tracks include the guitar-crunching, sing-along chorus gem 'The Knife', and the mellower 'A Long Way Down'. If you like rocking out to Linkin Park, New Order and The Rasmus, then you're guaranteed to love this album. - Musica Pulse Magazine (July 2008)

"Collected Memories **** Review"

The release of 'Collected Memories' has seen Zebra & Giraffe cause quite a storm on the South African music scene. The project is the artistic expression of local Greg Carlin. The multi-talented Carlin is responsible for writing the entire album and performing almost all the instruments on the release himself.

Everything on this release personifies professionalism. The songs are well composed and though slightly alternative and dark in nature, due catchy choruses and clever keyboard lines should be readily play-listed by mainstream radio and enjoyed by the market in general. There is a great diversity of musical styles and tempos.

Michael Maurel - Saturday Star (14 July 2008)

"Collected Memories **** Review"

Greg Carlin is Zebra & Giraffe and 'Collected Memories' is the debut album, which was written as catharsis of the past 25 years, Greg thanks his house of that perod, 59 Douglas Road, for being the place that held the collected memories and this electro pop debut is a fitting mark of respect in that homage. Taking the 80's trend revival and jumping headlong into it, Greg inputs influences and Collected Memories outputs an album that should make people sit up and take notice. Carlin's voice ranges from high range to indeed type vocals and whether the memories are good or bad, the telling of it is all good. - People Magazine (12 June 2008)

"Zebra & Giraffe - Collected Memories **** Review"

Innovative and ambitious.

Two words, which for me best describe Greg Carlin’s debut effort under the moniker Zebra & Giraffe, where swirling electronics, thrashy pop guitars and Carlin’s smooth falsetto- tinged vocals meld into the refreshingly original album, Collected Memories.

The instruments, barring Matthew Marinus’s solid drumming, were all performed by Carlin who also penned the tracks himself, so it comes as no surprise that the overall impression left is that the album was a sort of right-of-passage for him. Producer Darryl Torr of Harris Tweed takes the guiding role, and the two talented musicians have created ten-tracks that ebb and flow perfectly between each other, creating a wide and rich soundscape in which to revel.

Bittersweet nostalgia, lost love and life’s learning curve seem to be some of the themes touched upon by the lyrics, which to the music’s betterment, reside inbetween the literal and poetic, allowing the listeners own mindset to inform how each track affects them.

The lyrics however, would be nothing without Carlin’s strong resonant delivery, which he does so with sincerity and confidence, showcased by standout tracks Arm Yourself and Hideaway. When their respective choruses kick in, the bar is most definitely raised; production, vocals, instruments all lock together and deliver two of the biggest and catchiest choruses to have come out of South Africa. Top tier stuff this is.

The album does have some small problems though; I feel almost nitpicky for putting them to paper. Carlin’s vocals tend to get lost behind the sometimes overbearing electronics and production, and I found myself feeling strangely detached at times; as illustrated by Running Faster and its stilted chorus, part of the only track I would call a filler. And whether intentional or not, similarities can be found to late 70’s post-punk band, Joy Division.

As I said, minor objections that barely affect the excitement afforded by the sharp song-writing, heaped, inventive electronics and anthemic choruses. The blood and sweat that went into Collected Memories is clearly evident, and should in time become a benchmark for other South African bands with regards to production, song-writing and marketing.

Overall, a great album, something South African music fans can rally behind and call their own. Zebra & Giraffe are paving their own road, picking selectively from trends as they pass, and under the guidance of gifted songwriter, Greg Carlin, Z&G’s masterpiece is just around the bend.

The Standouts
The Knife: First single, first track, it sets the albums tone perfectly with its infectious intro followed by up-tempo drums and powerful guitars. Great chorus and the hypnotic chants in the bridge are awesome. At the time of writing it was No.1 for the second week running on 5fm’s Hi 5@5.

Arm Yourself: The calm intro and verse belie the amazing chorus that follows. A highpoint of the album for me.

Oxymoron: Beginning with guitars you would find on a Muse album, the verse beat facilitates head bopping and the vocals take on a welcome aggressive stance. Props go out to the eccentric melody in the bridge. Enhanced vocals or programming, I’m not sure, but I bloody loved it!

Pariah: The album has a fun side and Pariah is the result. Falsetto vocals are brought to the front, followed by another wildly original programmed melody that is just really, for lack of a better term, amping.

A Long Way Down: Playing out like a tightly scripted film, the penultimate track is a haunting tale of redemption and from what I gleaned; love. The ballad is given emotional weight by Cherilyn MacNeil’s (Harris Tweed) featured vocals.

Hideaway: Another huge chorus and the perfect way to end off the album.

The Modern Take: 4/5 - Modern Optimist (Online)


Collected Memories
Collected Memories (Deluxe Edition)
The Inside
The Wisest Ones



A lot has changed since Zebra & Giraffe released the SAMA-award winning album, Collected Memories. Members have come and gone and the band's sound has moved from straight-up, radio-hit rock to a place far darker and more daring than even they could have imagined. Zebra & Giraffe's latest album, The Wisest Ones, is the result.

With Deftones, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, A Perfect Circle and Marilyn Manson having had a significant influence on the mood of the album, The Wisest Ones showcases Zebra & Giraffe's desire to experiment while continuing to solidify their roots as one of South Africa's most prominent alternative-rock groups.

The album's first single, 'I'll Blame You' comes after a string of chart-topping hits for the band. Having had 13 singles playlisted on national radio since their inception, seven from Collected Memories and six from The Inside, Zebra & Giraffe are ready for the next chapter. While the departure of drummer Darren Leader and bassist Andrew Maskell threw the remaining members off guard, it simultaneously gave Zebra & Giraffe the fresh start they needed to record a new album.

This year, Zebra & Giraffe will focus on achieving success on both local and international levels. With a local album launch tour planned for September this year, the band will also be heading to the USA in October and Europe in early 2013. The Wisest Ones will be available on iTunes worldwide and in music stores nationwide.