Indie groove machines HABITATS impressed us with their first EP ‘Diamond Days’. Since then, the foursome have been gaining motion on the live scene, picking up support from the movers and shakers at BBC Radio, and in between that they have found time to travel to the Big Apple to record their newest and most ambitious work to date, the ‘Jungles’ EP. A snappy, hip-shaking rush of tight grooves and dynamic textures spread across four sun-soaked songs.
Opening to the sharp beat of ‘Boogie Waltzer’, HABITATS already have our attention. A steady beat shakes as a shimmering bass line cuts through dribbles of percussive cow bell, and gradually energising guitars pulse in and out. It’s a deeply layered track that will lodge itself into your mind, all the while it dances with passionate vocal harmonies that chant ‘wooohs’ and ‘ooohs’. It’s woozy enough to enchant and direct enough to stick with you.
Next up, ‘Should Know Better’ sounds like a straight up tropical-infused indie track, complete with a propulsive rhythm section, soft soaring guitars and laid-back vocals. But that’s not to say that the track isn’t accomplished, it proves that simplicity always wins, and goes down like a spoonful of honey. ‘Float Together’ injects some funk into the pot, it is a rougher guitar-led track that stomps with colourful vibrancy. But it’s the jaunty rhythms that keep it interesting, giving the track a distinct flavour.
Wrapping up the EP is title-track ‘Jungles’ – a five minute exploration that intends to push the band’s inventiveness and creativity further. Leading it to be the most mature and fastidious track on the EP. The first minute or so battles guitars against guitars – swirling, weaving and vibing off each other, it’s what the band do best. If you’ve ever seen them live, then you know HABITATS like to delve into an epic finale to close their set in style, and their recorded material by no means defies that rule.
As we lean deeper and deeper into the grooves, by the time we hit the lead vocals, we are already moving. The track blazes with energy and while it does continue to progress in its unrelenting stride, when we hit the big climax, the track seems to lose its way a little and never quite regains that initial uproar of euphoria they had built. Although, this track could easily be as epic as Young Kato’s definitive debut ‘Drink, Dance, Play’, it falls just short of that and fades out on a fizzling spark.
HABITATS have dug deeper on their sophomore effort, burrowing a sprinkle of funk and bigger grooves into their effervescent indie pop. But to really demonstrate the full potential that we know is inside of them, they need to employ a stricter grasp on variety in their work. As a whole, the EP tends to meander too close to the same sounds and as a listener, it’s easy to lose focus, but it still doesn’t deny the fact that ‘Jungles’ is a fast and rambunctious good time.
HABITATS ‘Jungles’ EP will be released on 12th February. Pre-order it here.