Johnossi: Nowhere to run

Johnossi | Blood Jungle

There’s a lot you can do with guitar, drums, and voice. (Just ask The Black Keys or The White Stripes.) But there’s also a lot you can’t. (Yes, you already know who to ask.)

So, with each album, this Swedish duo have astutely kept adding to the sound of their debut without compromising its spirit and energy. ‘Blood Jungle’, their fifth, introduces choirs, horns, and glossier production, but even beneath the chanting choruses of ‘Blood’, the tribal voices and pounding rhythms of ‘Air Is Free’, and irresistible roof-raising choruses of ‘Hands’ are the chunky guitar riffs that have been there since the very beginning. So are the big melodies that stick in your brain like an axe.

They’re there on all-out rockers like the gritty ‘Got Your Gun’, swaggering ‘Hey Kiddo’ and ballsy ‘Weak Spots’. They’re there on the Technicolor retro groove-fest ‘Tall Dark Man’ and the rollicking country-tinged ‘On A Roll’. They’re there on club-anthem-in-disguise ‘Freeman’. And they’re there on the epic synth-textured ballad ‘War/Rain’.

Regardless of the instruments picked by singer/guitarist John Engelbert and drummer/singer Oskar Bonde, these are unmistakably Johnossi songs – and yet another leap forward for the band.

“It’s a cool sounding name for a cool sounding record,” says Bonde. He’s not wrong. At all.


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