The Jungle Giants
Listen to The Jungle Giants third studio album Quiet Ferocity and one thing becomes clear: they’ve found their sound.The band –featuring Sam Hales on vocals/guitar, Cesira Aitken on lead guitar, Andrew Doorison Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals and Keelan Bijker on drums/trombone –met in Brisbane at Mansfield State High, and since their first performance in 2011, they’ve released two EPs (The Jungle Giants, 2011 and She’s a Riot, 2012) and two studio albums (Learn to Exist, 2013 and Speakerzoid, 2015). Quiet Ferocity combines the signature melodic arrangements of their first album with the percussion-ladenproduction of their second and catapults them into a sonic stratosphere that is entirely their own sound. ‘After Speakerzoid I didn’t write for a while,’ Sam says. ‘I needed to figure out what I wanted to do. I had to get out of my head.Then one day I was in the pool. It came to me, and I made this conscious decision. I told the bandI wanted to make banging indie rock. I wanted to make a strong record that I would be happy to play live. But it wasn’t always that easy. Before Speakerzoid, Sam was having trouble writing. He went to Paris on a writing trip, but instead of writing he just spoke to himself out loud. He asked himself what he was doing and because he couldn’t write he began to read. He read a piece on creativity by Ernest Hemmingway and felt like the piece was talking to him. ‘I learned so much on that trip I couldn’t process it all,’ Sam says. ‘Then after Speakerzoid came out I remembered the essay and the notes I’d written. And I knew what I had to do.’Sam worked five days a week, 9-5, and if something wasn’t working, he moved onto the next song. ‘This was really important,’ Sam says. ‘When I clocked off each day I gave myself permission to stop thinking. It let the album breathe.’ Quiet Ferocity brims with triumph, enthusiasm and, at times, pain. Recorded and produced entirely themselves, its strength lies in the amalgamation of its members, whohave been making music together for so long they feel like family. One of the main sonic identifiers on the album, On Your Way Down showcases the band’s ability to combine simple arrangements with melodic intensity. ‘It makes you want to dance, but alsoclench your fists,’ Sam says. ‘When I wrote it I knew it was going on the record and everything else would have to make room for this song and nod towards it.’Already proving a fast favourite on Triple J, Feel The Way I Do combines chargingdance hooks with a contagiousscream-your-lungs-out chorus. ‘The song came from nowhere and I wrote it start to finish. I just had to get it down. It felt like a gift.’
And then there’s Quiet Ferocity, the album’s title with its massive bass lines that lead into the nostalgic hell-yeah chorus: ‘when we get together/I forget the time’ before right-turning into 3am eyes closed where-are-my-limbs-wait-I-want-to-kiss-you territory. In their song People Always Say, Sam says, ‘Initially, the song wasn’t even going to makethe album.’ He’d tried so hard he’d over produced it, but the band agreed there was something about it they liked. In the studio, they worked together and simplified it but something was still missing. So Sam pulled out a synth and began hitting differentkeys. Cesira and Keelan and Dooris would yell, ‘Yes!’ and then ‘No! They worked together until they were all screaming, ‘Yes!’ and they knew they’d found the sound. ‘It was a happy accident,’ Sam says. ‘But we had a lot of those, working together. It was awesome and validating, all of us being there in the studio on the same level. It’s the deepest dance-drivensong on the record and that’s why we put it last. It felt like a full stop, like we’d built people up to the point where all we could do was say goodbye, until next time.’With over 30 million Spotify streams, shows in LA, New York, Toronto, Austin, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, not to mention sold-out headline dates and appearances at all major Australian festivals, including a triumphant early evening set to an overflowing tent at Splendour 2016 and the recent 2017 Grooving The Moo where they played to capacity audiences around the country, The Jungle Giants have applied everything they’ve learned and produced an album laced with urgency andenergy.Quiet Ferocity is infectious.So get ready.It’s coming for you too.Track By TrackOn Your Way DownOn Your Way Down is one of the main sonic identifiers for me on the record. It has a simple arrangement, though melodically it’s very intense. I love how it makes you want to dance, but also clench your fists.Feel The Way I DoI’ll never forget the day I wrote this song.I always test out a song by dancing to it and when this song appeared to me out of nowhere it made me dance so hard. I saved it 19 times in different folders on my computerbecause I was scared I was going to lose it.Bad Dream
Bad dream was the last song written for the record.We were having a party at my house. I hadn’t show anyone the song and then I played it over the speakers and everyone was like, ‘That should be on the record!’ And then it was. Used To Be In LoveWhen we first recorded this song it wasn’t even a dance song. The song was being super stubborn and I told it, ‘If you don’t want to get on the bus and go to the beach with everyone else then you can stay at home.’ But then we put a 4 x 4 dance pattern in the song and it became something else entirely.Quiet FerocityI wanted huge ass repetitive bass lines that were really aesthetically pleasing.I love how this song has barely any lyrics, and how at the end it takes a complete right turn to dance town.Time and Time AgainCesira is a guitarnerd. I realised I was writing threelead guitar lines into the song at once, and then I thought: why not!It’s going to be fun to play live.Waiting For a SignI’m really proud of thissong. Itformulated like a pop song but it feels like a slow burner. It’shectic but still retains its chill. It’s got a lot of lyrics and that’s something I don’t often do. BlindedBlinded is our Madonna moment. In the studio we were playingwith theproduction elements trying to improve itandthenwe said,‘Fuck it. Lets go Madonna.’WhenI showed it to Mum she said it sound like ABBA and I was like, ‘Yes,this is what’s happening.’In The GarageI really like how people include instrumentals in their records and I wanted to do that too. It’s great being in a different mindset. You don’t have to follow the normal rules you use to make a song. I’m into this song because it shows off all the sounds that are relevant to the album. People Always SayPeople Always Say is the deepest dance-driven song on the record and that’s why we put it last. It felt like a full stop, like we’d built people up to the point where all we could do was say goodbye, until next time.