October 9, 2003

Test Spin: Jet

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A wise man once said that those who fail to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Jet, the young quartet who recently released their debut LP Get Born via Elektra, has certainly learned from the past. Yet for some reason they still insist on repeating it. And their utter inability to bring themselves up to date dooms this effort from the start. Their primary influence is immediately apparent: if I was a betting man I’d be giving dollar to doughnuts odds that there are more than a few worn-out Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin records lying around the band’s rehearsal space. If you listen closely, you could also probably hear Pete Townshend’s guitar and Keith Moon’s frenetic drumming echoing against their studio walls. But to be successful in the music industry, let alone as artists, a band needs to be able to evolve and mold their influences into something of their own. On their first outing, Jet is not up to the task

The band shows unquestionable talent and promise. The entire record features strong instrumental and vocal performances that point to a bright future. And we get a brief, but wonderful, glimpse of what this band is capable of with tracks like “Radio Song” and “Look What You’ve Done.” Both songs hint at a deep well of untapped potential, demonstrating the band’s penchant for melody and their no frills arrangements. Producer Dave Sardy (Marilyn Manson, System Of A Down) makes a valiant effort as well, effectively capturing the band’s energy and enthusiasm on tape. The songs are catchy and the lyrics reflect a refreshing musical literacy. But it still ends up sounding like an album of Rolling Stones and Who covers — not necessarily a bad thing but certainly not the most original release from the retro rocker craze.

In the end, the boys from Australia fail to make a case for themselves — instead reminding this reviewer that it’s been a long time since I’ve pulled out Exile on Main Street and it’s surely overdue for a listen.

Archived article by Mathew Gewolb