I was drawn to this band after hearing their track 'Lakeside' on one of the FIFA games a couple of years ago. That song is definitely one of the highlights of this superb album.
The record opens with 'Molalatladi', blasting in with its tribal drumming, angular guitars and chant-like lyrics. The excellent use of backing vocals in the song is a recurring and welcome theme throughout the album. 'Banna Bo Modimo' carries on in the same vein with its chorus in Zulu. The tempo is slowed down slightly on 'Standby', but that is in no way detrimental to the quality of the track, the first on the record to be sung entirely in English.
The aforementioned 'Lakeside' follows, with its mellow and dreamlike opening developing, unravelling and building to an upbeat crescendo. Some super guitar work graces the fifth 'Taxidermy', which leads into the sprawling eight-minute wilderness of 'Kwa Nqingetje', probably the poorest track on the CD. It could have done with two or three minutes chopping off, as it just tends to meander aimlessly around the middle sections.
But if you thought the start of the album was good, the last three tracks are something else. 'Skeleton' starts off with brass instruments and guitar effects abounding, and takes many twists and turns throughout its four-and-a-half minutes, journeying through hard rock, prog and reggae stylings. A darker vibe can be felt on 'Cursor', which showcases some terrific dissonant guitar in the chorus. The piece de resistance for me though, is the beautiful acoustic closer 'Tselane', sung solely in Zulu. It doesn't matter that you can't understand the lyrics (apart from the words TV, Facebook and MySpace!), it is just such a great piece of music and although it's over six minutes, it just isn't long enough.
Overall, this record is a fantastic showcase of the talent of BLK JKS, and I fervently await their second album.