It’s easy to get excited about a band like Jungle. Their sound is unlike anything else available at the moment, and that’s not to say it doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever heard before. Their combination of tones and rhythms, though, makes this album an unusual auditory experience, and that’s something I can respect. It’s the funk and soul of our parents time, with their darkened chord progressions and soaring psychedelic vocals initiating their sound into the 21st century. At their core, they’re a collective, a troupe of funkadelic comrades led by members J & T, united by their groovy soundscapes.
Some say their lack of information makes them ‘anonymous’ or ‘secret’ and that it’s a marketing ploy by the members to bolster their sonic environment to the forefront of internet discussion, but for me I never cared about who was in it. I fell in love with their music, and I didn’t need to know anything else, which is exactly how I like to imagine they wanted to be introduced to the world. Good music with the right intentions always manages to find the right audience, and that’s why their sound spread so rapidly.
As for the name, Jungle, one listen through on the record and you can start to see why the shoe fits. From the moment the sirens kick in on the lead off single, “Heat,” your heightened sense of awareness contributes to a very primal and alert state. You’re smack dab in the thick of a lush and lively Jungle with towering canopies of bass and spritely tropical guitar riffs. Finely feathered exotic birds fly in unison as falcetto vocals interact with the forest of instruments below.
“Busy Earning” stands out as a top track in the number 3 position on the LP, the working man’s anthem. Fanfaric brass introduces the track as lead singer T breaks down the follies of the modern work force. Chorus phrases like “Too busy earnin // Can’t Get enough,” and “Damn, that’s a boring life,” poignantly poke holes in your daily grind. An appreciation for the little moments in your day comes sinking in as the track serves as an, at times too real, curse of life’s financial battle for air.
The theme of everyday fears surfaces time and time again in the project as the band tackles stagnant love and the ever pressing battle of time vs. consciousness, a trait that differentiates this piece of work from their past funk influences as a darker distant modern cousin. That’s not to say the band wasn’t left to their own devices, though, as the sans vocal track, “Smoking Pixels,” reveals an old western twang complete with rattle snake flares, and the classic song about a girl record, “Julia,” is an ode to the mysterious draw one feels to the unknown member of the opposite sex.
The band makes do as the tempo fluctuates infinitesimally, as to maintain the steady dance beat, so half-time time signatures are used to indicate a more sensual feel (see: “Crumbler) as whirlpools of seductive synthesizers ingest your emotions. Another one of my standouts, “Son Of A Gun,” is a track I feel accurately reflects the bands cohesion. It’s in the details more than anything, the fingers sliding over the fretboards as perpetual arpeggios maintain their presence throughout and tortured vocals tell the tale of an imprisoned state of mind.
A 1 on the binary scale, this record belongs in your library. Mostly for it’s disturbance in the static normalcy that portrays my own. **As one humble piece of criticism, I did feel like at times this record lacked diversity, in track selection and content, but I think it’s best to leave that to their Sophomore LP. For their first introduction to the world, Jungle did it proper. Cop on iTunes HERE, and catch them in LA with us later this fall.
More from Jungle on Boomrat HERE.