Jupiter Lion are a trio from Valencia, although given the contents of their debut album, Silver Mouth, you’d be forgiven for double-checking this fact. Their influences are rooted in experimental music from around Europe (Germany in particular) around the ’60s and ’70s, when all things electronica-based were very much the future. In what could be a further nod to that era, all six songs have been recorded live without any assistance from computers, and in one take.
Silver Constellation opens the album with whirring keyboards. It is krautrock to the core in nearly every aspect as the steady, machine-like beat propels it onwards and upwards for seven and a half minutes. The atmosphere of Black Mouth is distinctly more sci-fi with pitch-shifting effects and a humming bass break. It outstays its welcome by a good minute or so. The same can’t be said of Krokodil – warped, kinetic and full of crashing cymbals and yelps that echo for eons, there is an infectious energy and urgency to it.
The Death Of Dallas slows things down considerably with a grandiose and cinematic introduction. It’s a very slow build with few rhythmic flourishes to start with, but it slowly unravels as it progresses. Venus & Eranus, on the other hand, offers a blast of claustrophobic white noise that’s rather jarring. Whilst melodies start to form, there’s not a lot else to it. It’s left to Bellicec to bring us back to where we started sonically. This time there are more ambient textures to be found and, whilst it’s not quite as immediate as the LP’s opener, it still rides its own cosmic wave with ease.
That should be the end of it. Except it isn’t. Tagged onto the end rather unnecessarily as three remixes (two of Black Mouth and one of Silver Constellation) that don’t seem to serve any great purpose other than to bulk out what would otherwise be an EP. As remixes go they are decent, if a bit on the safe side, and they provide rather a peculiar anti-climax.
It makes sense that Silver Mouth was recorded live, since it’s really in that environment where you imagine these songs would work best. Especially since there’s more work to be done in order for Jupiter Lion to make a captivating LP, for this one has more standout moments, as opposed to standout tracks, and future efforts could be a bit more concise and purposeful. But their use of dynamics is promising and, when they get going, it’s only too easy to be swept up in their hypnotic spell.