"The crowd reaction suggested one pro tip: do more of that!"
The Jungle Giants return to Adelaide with an exponential increase in their fan base while touring off the back of the recently released sophomore record Speakerzoid. While the band's sound is familiar to those who have seen them before their increased popularity allowed for a show of grand spectacle in terms of audience-to-band interaction.
Brisbane indie-rock five piece Art Of Sleeping opened up proceedings. While a good band, their penchant for writing the majority of their songs at a crawling pace results in losing our attention — especially when we've heard the same keyboard chord or ambient pull of a guitar string across three or four different songs. The atmosphere they project is pleasing, however, and most of the crowd were completely enveloped by the performance. Props goes out to Jean-Paul Malengret on the drums, as his playing was distinct, hard-hitting and super tight, the linchpin of the band. Art Of Sleeping are an entertaining band — worth seeing if it comes about for you — but they seem to be playing it safe, musically speaking.
The Jungle Giants are a delightful band. Initially their talent manifested in some of the best melodic hooks in Australian commercial music, before they diversified their sound with the spoken word lyrics and elements of distortion present in some of Speakerzoid. If you aren't convinced of the hook part, just take for instance the you've-heard-it-even-if-you-think-you-haven't tune I Am What You Want Me To Be. Vocalist Sam Hales is a great frontman, his vocal range faring equally well from mids to highs and his enthusiasm instantaneously infecting the crowd. Andrew Dooris is a rhythmic anchor on the bass guitar, and Cesira Aitken adds an essential depth to the band with superb guitar licks. The Jungle Giants only needed be on stage for a short while before the sea of bodies were all jumping and dancing. There were plenty of opportunities for everyone, including the band, to stage dive and crowd surf and generally have an all-round good time. The closing two tracks, Kooky Eyes and Every Kind Of Way, showed the heaviest use of distortion thus far in their catalogue. The crowd reaction suggested one pro tip: do more of that!