A mild melody greets us with warmth and a playful swing at the onset of “Animal,” the new single by rock syndicate Jane n’ the Jungle. The rhythm is at first very playful, but once the vocals join the mix (and add a bit of contrast to the beat), it feels rather ominous. A glassy string part comes into focus, inviting even more tension into the song as we push towards the first chorus. It’s as if the band is pushing us to the edge of our seats with nothing more than sonic suggestion, much like a hypnotist would the spellbound.
When the chorus finally comes slashing through the darkness, its weight is so overwhelming in comparison to what we started “Animal” with that it’s almost like we’re listening to an entirely different song come the :56 mark in the track. The vocals are amped up here, churning beneath the percussive pulsations with an anarchistic rage I haven’t heard in a straight rock single for years. The music video for “Animal” is barebones; just the band and their passionate play, but it doesn’t feel particularly lacking on any level. Jane n’ the Jungle have nothing to prove to the masses in this release; they’re blowing off steam in the most melodically rewarding way imaginable.
“Animal” comes to an aching conclusion amidst a bittersweet harmony between singer Jordan White and a lingering piano part, and as it crosses the finish line, the echo of its anthemic chorus seems to last for a few minutes longer than the music itself does. This band have been racking up a lot of praise since their initial formation back in 2013, and listening to this, it’s easy to understand what the buzz has been all about. Indie rock needed some physicality this spring, and Jane n’ the Jungle are answering the demand brilliantly in “Animal.”