She’s a Riot is just the second EP from Brisbane indie-pop quartet, The Jungle Giants, but despite their freshness, they have asserted themselves as real up-and-comers amidst an ever-growing scene.
Their self-titled EP was a fun and snappy record, full of jangly guitars and catchy melodies in a vein similar to Last Dinosaurs, Millions, and The Holidays (earlier stuff) and they’ve cleverly continued with that working formula on She’s a Riot.
The title track has an irresistible, Nick Valensi-esque guitar line complemented by Sam Hale’s wavering and slightly imperfect vocal delivery, as everything else builds around these key foundations. Don’t Know What Else To Do, on the other hand, delves into a more sombre atmosphere with a hint of desperation to be found within Hale’s cracking vocals but contrasts this with one of the record’s more memorable melodies.
This makes it a little tricky to figure out The Jungle Giants. Their lyrics are bare, fragile and honest, but their music is generally fun and sprightly. It’s almost as if they can’t resist making upbeat pop tunes whatever the context is, rendering their meanings a bit lost in translation.
However, the EP finishes strongly with the gorgeous Way Back When that builds from a lonely, minimalist guitar passage into a glorious and crashing all-out jam. It’s easily the most moving moment of the short EP and has the most authentic feel of all the tracks. Closing track Back to the Start recaptures the band’s cheerful energy and translates that into a straightforward but almighty chorus, certifying The Jungle Giants as a band that may be still finding their feet but are more than capable of producing some top quality in the process.