This is the resurgence of garage rock, hunh? I’m no expert (couldn’t tell a Hive from a Vine if I had a bad case of both), but I have to say, if you’re going to listen to non-groundbreaking musical stylings, I find that straight-up, just-one-shade-above-playing-at-a-local-bar type rock-and-roll ain’t a bad way to go.
So far everything about this CD experience has been nearly straight out of the late 70’s. I bought it low-tech: I heard their song once on the radio, thought it catchy, and went right out to Best Buy to get it without hearing / researching any further (“How retro,” comments engineerboy dryly). The album looks low-tech: I’m convinced the cover art might actually be the “Stillwater” album from Almost Famous. Either that or Jet found the guy who did the cover art for my mom’s album The Best of Bread, circa 1976. The sparse liner notes don’t even contain lyrics and are remarkably free of any shout-outs to their homies. Even the couple photos of these guys are of a taken-on-the-subway-with-a-shaky-35-mm quality. However, later during the day I buy the CD I realize the song I like is one of the tunes on the new iPod for PC commercials… so it’s not all throw-back, I guess.
The rock on this album (we’ll drag that concept out of the dustbin) is straight-up and fun, if not exactly revolutionary. I can name about five bands that might want to consider suing Jet for too closely resembling their sound — they are a remarkable blender combo of AC/DC, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Clash, and Golden Earring. Oh, and I think the Bangles might even have a quarrel with the tambourine intro to “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”. (Ok, so maybe I’m missing the point of garage rock, but stiilll, synthesize your own sound at least a liiittle bit). Nitpicking aside, when the songs rock, they rock. The current hit tune is a fun blast, “Rollover DJ” is kicky and exuberant, and “Cold Hard Bitch” (the most AC/DC-esque of the bunch) is excellent. Makes me wanna don my Nascar tank top and head to an ice house. As a matter of fact, if this album had more of its rocking songs on there, I’d give it a higher rating. There are a few too many Beatles-inflected piano intro songs on there… I’d make a joke about the Kiss pioneer power ballad “Beth”, but it’s low-hanging fruit — the last would-be-soulful tune on the CD is called “Timothy”, so the joke’s just too easy.
All in all, though, it’s an enjoyable if uneven ride. I can skip past the slow tunes pretty easily, and the rest is unchallenging and unpretentious. If you think modern music is pretty much crap since, oh, 1983 or so, then this is the album for you. Mynagirl says, “Rock on!”