When a new act’s debut record is tagged as ‘highly anticipated’ more often than not it can be a near impossible struggle to sustain that momentum and transform it into a finished product worthy of said tag.
Fortunately Jungle aren’t most acts and their debut on XL records justifies the strapline DIY gave them as ‘the most exciting band in the world right now.’
Yes, half of the record is made up of material we’re already familiar with but when you’ve brought ‘the heat’ like this London duo have over the past 12 months with tracks like ‘Platoon’ and anthemic glitter-ball ‘Busy Earnin’ (above), the decision to leave them off the album would frankly be stupid. And in a world where albums are streamed online weeks, sometimes even months before release anyway I really don’t see where the problem is.
If you’re looking for criticisms, there is un-surprisingly not masses of depth within the 12 tracks displayed, but when on average each number is little over three minutes and the chorus arrives before the 60 second mark depth is unlikely to be a key feature. Julia bellows ‘I don’t know a thing about you, soon enough you’ll be all I ever need’ which recreates the nightclub picture of falling in love every 5 seconds. Reassuringly, this happens to cool guys too apparently. But really that’s as deep as it’s going to get here. If you want depth go and listen to The National or something.
Segmented in the middle of the album is ‘Smoking Pixels’, which is part interlude part intergalactic space western theme tune. Tie this in with the opening sirens of ‘The Heat’ and this duo is well on the way to being the new world conquering, crime fighting disco warriors of funk. Or something, I did say depth wasn’t a strong point.
‘Jungle’ is out now on XL Recordings.