It’s cinematic classical rock at its finest in Jungle Book Birds’ album Heads or Tails

Have you ever had an album send you straight back 10 years?

Jungle Book Birds are channeling a profound, cinematic vein akin to that of DNA Strings (remember them?) as they pair classical tones with contemporary rock, and it’s damn good to hear this sort of sound in the ether again.

This is the debut release from Hezron Chetty’s freshly rebranded trio and its long overdue. An expertly orchestrated medley of psychedelic rock, world music, and west African blues, spearheaded by Chetty’s violin intricacies, the album is 2 years in the making and worth every minute.

A theatrical core gives way to either rollicking riffage and growling spoken word, or plucked acoustic melody. Frenzied, orchestral sound meets fine-tuned percussion and blossoms.

From vaguely Eastern influence (“This Could Groove”), to the stark African-honed tones of “West African Slaves”, which is hair-raisingly powerful – “Mary” is a left field nursery rhyme on abuse, and “Nothing” ceremoniously throws a harrowing, fibrillating electro pulse into the mix halfway through.

This is one of the best albums to come out of South Africa this year.