Intronaut are an American progressive metal band who’ve been putting out albums for about 14 years. They are known for a sound that incorporates, among other things, stoner metal, jazz and math rock. They might be one of the last bands you’d think of to cover a band as rootsy as CCR.
For Creedence Clearwater Revival fans, the opening to “Run Through the Jungle” is one of the most iconic in their catalogue. Feedback and distorted guitar slowly give way to John Forgerty’s country picking and wailing blues harp. Most of CCR’s hits fully embrace their rootsy sound, immediately telling the listener you’re listening to the blues or country or rock and roll. But “Run Through the Jungle” is the rare CCR song to start and end as if it was psychedelic song. And, of course, like most of CCR’s classic songs, “Run Through the Jungle” swings. The surging rhythm, Fogerty’s lead guitar, his forceful delivery and that harmonica all give the song of momentum it shouldn’t have for how simple it is.
Bone on Intronaut’s cover, gone is that guitar sound. An acoustic opens this version of “Run Through the Jungle”, followed by a string-skipping lead guitar part that removes any sense of swing from the original. The group vocals sound like the early Doobie Brothers, without any of the soul.
The song just gets mathier and mathier through the first verse, with nearly every instrumental part deconstructed. Only one a brief guitar fill and the vocals let you know what song you’re listening to. After an extended drum fill, a groove gives the final verse and chorus a more hard rock feel that resembles something a little closer to conventional rock and roll, if not the original song.
It’s CCR as math rock. If I hadn’t heard it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it was possible.