The Jungle Giants have been a force to be reckoned with on the Australian indie scene over the past few years. However, with their latest album 'Speakerzoid', there's a distinctive tonal shift in the music - the big question is, do they manage to pull it off?
The new album is not dissimilar to a diverse degustation menu. There's a lot on offer here, and it's not all entirely complimentary. Some songs appease the palate, while others go down a little uneasily. This is an experimental new step for The Jungle Giants, and it's not all easy to swallow.
Starting strong and left-of-field, 'Every Kind Of Way' is a killer opener track. It's a little spoken word, a little catchy chorus. A little disturbing and tense, sampled screams and apprehensive guitar riffs adorn the verse, before the chorus bursts forth, brimming with a spooky enthusiasm.
'KOOKY EYES' - THE JUNGLE GIANTS
'Devil's Play' is more in the realm of indie pop, a little looser, culminating with unsettling synths under the chanting of lyrics "I wanna be a toy." First single 'Kooky Eyes' follows up, and is probably one of the more relatable tracks for fans of The Jungle Giants.
Hereon in, things get weird. 'Lemon Myrtle' is a psychedelic trip, melodically hypnotic with lyrics like, "Before you ask me if you can be on top, just give me a second, here comes the drop." Further in, 'Mexico' is a laid-back beach tune, with a grooving acoustic guitar for the duration. 'Not Bad' is a minimalistic track, with instruments sparsely adorning Sam Hayes' shrill singing.
'It Gets Better' features a simple yet addictive chorus driven along by a lax acoustic guitar. 'Tambourine' is another dark track, with heavy effects on the vocals and a slo-mo feeling to the entire tune, the chorus a mesmerising mash of synths and nonchalant singing.
This is an experimental new step for The Jungle Giants, and it's not all easy to swallow.
The album ends strongly with some bonus tracks - 'Special' is a treat of catchy 80s pop-rock, lo-fi with a vibrant atmosphere and a touch of The Smiths. 'Work It Out' is a groovy garage tune with some loose drums and Hayes' lazy lyrics littered over the top. It's a brilliant lively outro for the album.
'Speakerzoid' is a brave new world for The Jungle Giants, and while it might not all pay off, there's some real gems on offer. What the album lacks in congruency, it makes up for with its adventurousness. For this reason alone, it's worth a listen; it's probably not something that you'll be instantly singing along to, but perhaps it'll grow on you.
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