BY Daniel SylvesterPublished Jun 8, 2010

BLK JKS have a modus operandi just as ambitious as the music they create. Zol!, their third release in just over a year, is a five-song EP showing the Johannesburg, South African quartet sticking closely to their dense sound and traditionalistic/anti-traditionalistic approach. Peppered with angular riffs, tribal drumming and thorny sequencing, album opener "Iletys" does little to shake the band's comparisons to TV on the Radio, as vocalist/guitarist Lindani Buthelezi cradles melodies, protecting them from crashing, crumbling rhythms. The immense vocal breakdown that divides "Bogobe" proves that you don't need guitar effects to sound claustrophobic, while the title track may be the most authentic African-sounding piece they've created to date, with band members chanting over calypso-influenced breakbeats. EP closer "Mzabalazo (Demo)" melds '50s doo-wop, late '70s reggae and Mars Volta-type hysteria, giving the listener the impression that BLK JKS' future is as wide open as the Kalahari.
(Secretly Canadian)

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