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“What’s a Speakerzoid?”: A question that ignites curiosity about Brisbane quartet The Jungle Giants’ latest release. Yet as we hurtle through the next 40 minutes, our curiosity isn’t quite quenched.
Kicking of festivities with first single Every Kind of Way, we’re given our first introduction to the first of many unrecognisable accents that are littered throughout the record. Cynical spoken lyrics make up the verses with the simple, memorable hook breaking up this barricade of statements.
Devil’s Play is a funky, bass-driven ditty with high-ranging backing vocal to hold against the deep, scathing solos of vocalist Sam Hales and the turbulence of the static guitar.
“All my friends think you’re a psycho/ That kind of makes me like you more though” he ponders on latest single Kooky Eyes before a slight face-melting breakdown of guitar licks and smashing drums that really sets the head nods off the chart.
Coasting through sluggish weak spot Lemon Myrtle, we hit pacey fifth track What Do You Think? with nonsensical lyrics and a psychedelic synth tone creating a summer-suited indie tune.
A minute and a half of an acoustic-featured ode to Mexico and we’ve crossed the boarder to Creepy Cool, with backing vocals giving that quirkier vibe as the drumbeat plods and the outro chimes pierce your ears.
Thus we step into new territory, with the roots of the final four tracks in a multitude of different influences. Starting with eighth track Not Bad, a hip-hop-styled beat underneath minimal vocals and a smattering of cowbell and other percussion tones, it’s a progressive pace that makes for a great chicken-head routine.
It Get’s Better feels spacey, with a repetitious guitar hook and a crazy flute explosion that one cannot comprehend. Together We Can Work Together has a more drum’n’bass style beat with understated vocals and a nice shaker addition, and final track Tambourine is almost six minutes of reverberating electronic sounds and vocals to start, which then descends into a muddled composition that don’t really seem to lead anywhere.
It’s clear that a tangible idea of what a Speakerzoid is is still not defined. But whether you perceive it as an intelligent array of well-placed, interesting sounds, or a bit of a Jackson Pollack canvas with a few effective flicks; The Jungle Giants can be commended on their motivation to create an experimental indie-rock based record that’s definitely worth mulling over.