Sunday 3 August 2014

Neon Jungle - Welcome To The Jungle


Girl power is certainly in the midst of a renaissance at the moment, whether it be the multitude of solo female popstars who dominate the charts, the bubblegum pop of girl band Little Mix, or rock-pop sisters Haim. Neon Jungle fall somewhere on the 'highly unoriginal' end of the spectrum.

Even the title, 'Welcome To The Jungle', is derivative. The album comprises EDM banger after EDM banger. Anyone who's heard singles Braveheart, Welcome To The Jungle or Trouble that make up the opening three tracks will know what to expect: identikit production of pounding beats, deep basslines, shouty choruses and R&B vocals.

This continues with the remains of the album, from the synth-heavy Can't Stop The Love, to the faux urban-cool of Bad Man and the funk guitars of Future X Girl (more than a little reminiscent of Ke$ha's Die Young). So Alive is the best of the dance-pop, but that’s to be expected when written by Charli XCX. Only on Fool Me do the girls take a breather, the ballad finally letting their minimal harmonies ring through.

The deluxe version of the album includes a number of acoustic tracks, most of which merely expose their weak vocals – in particular their cover of Hozier’s Take Me To Church, a song that’s totally out of place within the rest of the album.

What’s most offensive is their cover of Banks’ Waiting Game on the album proper. Not only is this a vastly inferior version containing little of the original’s subtlety and sombre mood, but this was done without permission and before Banks’ own album has even been released. Banks released a statement saying she was “uncomfortable” with the cover. Perhaps Neon Jungle should come up with their own music before stealing that of others?

The main reason the girls are doomed to fail, though, is their distinct lack of personality. This is an absolute requirement for girl bands, from the Spice Girls’ nicknames to the various characters of Little Mix. Even The Saturdays had a colour scheme. But who are Neon Jungle? Why should we be listening to their music? ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ offers few answers.

2/5

Gizzle’s Choice:
* Braveheart
* So Alive
* Fool Me

Listen: ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ is available now.