This review was going to centre around the fact that this EP was the second from The Jailbirds, and it was almost two years since I’d reviewed the first, and how their sound had changed.
There’s a good reason for the sonic alteration, though. The Jailbirds I reviewed back in July 2019 is a different band with almost the same name. These ones are Canadian. The others were Aussies and don’t have the “The”, this lot have toured with MV faves Monster Truck and Royal Blood, amongst others, but there is one similarity: both bands are ace.
“Jungle” is ambitious, too. A concept EP, dealing with substance abuse. An 18 minute journey through all kinds of things, but as always, the test of any story based collection, for me is this: can you enjoy it without giving a toss? The answer here is an unequivocal yes.
“Dull My Brain”, the opener is a copper bottomed belter. Swagger, 90s groove. Fans of Stone Temple Pilots (and MV believes they are the most underrated band around) will find much to sink their teeth into.
The title track is heavier, darker, more modern rock if you will, but goodness me, the hard rock guitar solo gives it away – these boys are aiming big.
“All I Need” is more of the same, but there’s an energy here. There’s an incessant quality, one that says “we’ll kick down any doors”, there’s also a touch of metal about it, that maybe the others don’t have, a touch of Dio maybe, and a sense of outright glee.
“Watery Grave” manages to both sound modern and classic at the same time, which is a neat trick if you can pull it off – and if you can pull it off as well as this, then hats off.
The way they can write a hook, a chorus, is a rare and impressive skill. Especially when they match it with the swirling vocals, the confusion and the downward spiral of “I Will Move On”. That one is rock bottom, I guess and owes Life Of Agony a debt of thanks, but it ends an impressive and brave collection in the manner it deserves.
Not what you might expect (literally in my care, figurately in yours) from an alt-rock band, but that’s why it’s so enjoyable. Welcome to the “Jungle”, you might say, come on you didn’t think I wasn’t going to go there, did you?