Year 5, Day 9: Johnossi Takes a Walk on the Wild Side with “Blood Jungle”

Year 5, Day 9: Johnossi – Blood Jungle

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Track List

  1. Blood
  2. Air is Free
  3. Hands
  4. Freeman
  5. Weak Spots
  6. On A Roll
  7. Tall Dark Man
  8. Hey Kiddo
  9. War/Rain
  10. Got Your Gun

About the Album

Blood Jungle is the fifth studio album from Swedish rock duo, Johnossi. The album was released February 17th 2017 through Universal Music. The album hit number seven on the Swedish charts.

Thoughts on the Album

Johnossi is one of the bands closest to my heart. For those that are unfamiliar with Johnossi, allow me to explain at bit about them. Johnossi is a duo, a guitarist and drummer. The band’s name is an amalgamation of the guitarist (John Engelbert) and the drummer (Oskar “Ossi” Bonde). How would I describe their sound? Like a two man army. Engelbert’s unique and unorthodox guitar rug combined with the myriad of effects pedals turns Engelbert’s guitar into a one-man army. Bonde’s straightforward drumming fused with Engelbert’s unorthodox full guitar sound created a force to reckoned with. To read about Engelbert’s guitar sound click here. If you want more info on Johnossi, click here.

Now with that brief introduction out of the way, let’s talk about today’s album. Johnossi‘s sound over the years has evolved. However, while over the last decade, they’ve made massive success in Europe, they’ve haven’t made in-roads here in the States. But it’s not for lack of trying, as they’ve been delivering arena (and Richter Scale) rocking anthems for the last decade. With Blood Jungle, the duo once again expands their sound and scope. The one thing over the years that has remained consistent has been the simple, minimalist approach of guitar and drums.

The album opens with the energetic and rather uplifting, Blood. The album’s sound (and standard) is established here and doesn’t deviate too far from it. It’s got big time arena rocking power from start to finish. The anthemic songs found on the album continues with lead single, Air is FreeAir is Free changes up tempo, slows it down slightly, but continues to bring the noise. It’s a track that is full of big hooks and memorable melodies. Another track on the album similar to Air is Free is Tall Dark Man.

Hands is an interesting track. Combining hard rock with indie folk, the track is a thought provoking one about police brutality. With it’s catchy hooks and jangly guitar riffs, it takes the band’s sound into seemingly uncharted waters. Other highlights include the dance-punk, Freeman with it’s driving drums and soaring riffs; the mysterious arena rocker Tall Dark Man. The album closes with the energetic arena rocking anthem, Got Your Gun. 

Some of my favorite tracks have to be FreemanGot Your GunHands, and Blood.  

Conclusion

Overall, Blood Jungle is an interesting and unique album. The transitions between songs on the album flow almost seductively, enticing you to continue listening. While John Engelbert‘s songwriting continues to get better and shines, the help of outside songwriters on this album helps the album stay on point. Blood Jungle is an energetic yet chilled out rock album that span several different genres of rock. Featuring several songs that will become part of the band’s already arena rocking playlists, Blood Jungle shines with it’s big hooks and unforgettable melodies.

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