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Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Liquid Jungle- Tiny Heaven


ARTIST: Liquid Jungle
ALBUM: Tiny Heaven
LABEL: Self-released
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
DATE: 4-28-08

Liquid Jungle- Tiny Heaven

A mixture of funk, progressive rock, and soul, Liquid Jungle's style combines passion with musicianship, but their overweening love for '70s musical excess takes some getting used to. At their most contemporary, they're a bit like Incubus, with funk and soul standing in for the hip-hop elements. "Unglued" is big but earthy, organs tying the airy guitar melodies to the ground. "In Disguise" starts off with soft harmonies, but kicks into a hard rock groove laced with slick piano melodies, and "Wrong Hand" starts off like a psychedelic soul ballad but ends up as a window-shaking funk rocker, complete with bleating saxophone. Lead singer Josh Yoder's smooth tenor is very much in the vein of blue-eyed soul, a quality that especially comes through on "The Liberated," a somewhat bland number that should appeal to Maroon 5 fans, if such people actually exist. That's an exception, though, and most of Liquid Jungle's work is far more interesting, even -- and perhaps especially -- their occasional missteps. "Programmed" starts off with a sort of pretentious jazzy rock vibe, faintly irritating in a Steely Dan kind of way, but builds into a cacophonous freak-out of an ending, less improvisation than complete breakdown. "Turn to Stone" is perky but stony, the kind of thing you'd hear in the background during the pot-smoking scene of a coming-of-age movie set in the '70s. "The Hound" is gloriously unabashed prog-rock, with the kind of showy key changes and big sound that give people reason to mock groups like Yes and Styx, but it's done with such joy and such a lack of pretension you can't help but be swept up in the band's enthusiasm. This isn't for everyone, and the group's more hippie tendencies are bound to turn off as many people as they impress, but Liquid Jungle are very good at what they do. You can fault them for their style, but you can't fault them for their talent.

Check out the group's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/thejungletheband for more information.


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