Cardinal Fuzz and Feeding Tube Records present the napalm blast that is the forthcoming new Banshee record, Livin' In The Jungle. Hailing from Boston and blazing red hot cinders through your eyes Banshee channel widescreen, kick out the jams motherfuckers psyche-rock-a-rama with a singer doing his best to channel both Alice and Iggy. Yes, they rock like crazy and play with the fired-up fury of The Stooges, MC5, and The Alice Cooper Group as they let their freak flag fly. On Livin' In The Jungle, Banshee detonate over 11 tracks of pure diamond arrangements that will lay you out flat and have your head swirling from the wallop of the sleazy voodoo racket that Banshee have created. Informed in equal parts by the intensity of '60s Detroit and The Alice Cooper Group and with a rhythmic underbelly the calls on in parts the funk explosion of War. From the opening Intro of "Genesis" amid a barrage of bells, chimes jungle sounds, and a group feeling the funk they lay straight into "The Law" where without missing a beat and over a blast of guitar riffs, dive bombing bass lines, thunderous drums and a voice that spits out and caterwails with a vengeance you find Banshee freewheelin' into what will become your favorite rock'n'roll LP for the year 2020. The engine has started and the whole record is executed at a breakneck pace that is a furious rollercoaster ride to sweet oblivion. On the final epic sprawl that is "Caged Birds" which starts out with a garage like "Sister Ray" bump'n'grind chug before descending into a glorious meltdown of fuzzed-up wah-wah guitars and glockenspiels before everything finally fades back into the jungle. Livin' In The Jungle is one rabid rock'n'roll animal of a record.
Our take: This Boston band featuring members of a bunch of notable hardcore bands self-released a 12” back in 2017, and now they’ve moved to Feeding Tube Records—home of the true freaks and progressives of the New England scene—for this follow-up. In case you never checked out their debut, Caw!, Banshee sounds to me like a band fascinated with the Stooges and the MC5 but with a lot of 70s and 80s hardcore and punk in their DNA. If that description reminds you of Mudhoney, that makes perfect sense because Banshee sounds a lot like Mudhoney in places. However, while Mudhoney has tended to write songs that are, at their core, pop songs, Banshee is prone to jam out and explore different influences. For instance, one of the most memorable tracks here, “Dawn of Man,” is a five and a half minute raga that reminds me of Primal Scream or Happy Mondays in the way it takes India-by-way-of-60s-psych and forces it through a bombastic rock filter. Another standout, “Savage Man,” is pure Fun House with its bluesy riff drenched in fuzz wah, chanted chorus, and bleating saxophone. I’m probably coming from a similar musical place as the members of Banshee. I grew up on punk and hardcore and discovered the Stooges, psychedelia, and lots of other music once I grew up, mellowed out a little, and opened my mind. Livin’ in the Jungle buzzes with the same energy I got from growing my record collection’s width rather than its depth.