|WRR #69 - The Jet Set
We've Got the Dance Connection
|OUT OF PRINT
|Wow! It's a full-length CD by Peoria, IL's own JET SET! These guys know how to rock, but they also know how to groove and get you out dancin'! Great, great stuff! This is a co-release with two other record labels! Don't ask!
Here is what Now Wave Magazine had to say about this record:
All right! Now we’re talkin’, Jack! Finally another band I can really rave about! Praise be to the devil! It’s about fuckin’ time.
To be honest, I can’t say that very much of the promo we get here in Waveland is really awful or anything. Occasionally we’ll get a CD-R from some dreadful thrash-punk band that just formed six weeks ago (“Check out our new song ‘Smash the State/Fuck the Cops’, dude!”) or the latest self-release from some deluded wannabe singer/songwriter who’s got the musical & vocal talent of a crack-addled zoo monkey. But for the most part, the releases sent our way are pretty decent. And therein lies the problem. I’ve been hearing lots of bands and artists that I’d describe as “decent” or “okay” or “so-so” or “not bad” or “passable” or “kinda good”...but rarely do I hear groups that I could describe as “fucking great” or “amazing” or “awesome” or “extraordinary” or even “very good”. I’m hearing lots of bands that are musically competent, and I’m hearing lots of bands that manage to emulate the “right” groups. But what I’m not hearing are many bands that I can legitimately feel EXCITED about. What I’m not hearing are many bands that make me say “Wow!”. What I’m not hearing are many bands that are even half as good as the groups that influenced them. What I’m not hearing are many bands that I’ll still be listening to 15 years (or even 15 months!) from now. I’m hearing lots of lukewarm punk bands, generic garage outfits, copycat new wave wannabes, and mediocre powerpop groups. What fun is that?
Thus it pleases me to proclaim that the new Jet Set album is FUCKING GREAT!!!! For real! I’m talking certifiable Album of the Year contender! Any discussion of today’s finest garage/rock n’ roll bands MUST include the Jet Set. That is the new rule, and it will be enforced with an iron fist. If the White Stripes were really as good as the critics say they are, they’d sound like the Jet Set.
To tell you the truth, I’m kinda shocked that these guys aren’t already huge. Given the current popularity of hipster-friendly “neo-garage” bands, We’ve Got the Dance Connection sounds like it oughta be tearing up the college radio charts as we speak. The Jet Set’s got what most underground rock n’ roll bands are missing these days: that extra spark, that audible charisma, that elusive “special something” that separates great music from mediocre music. They don’t reinvent the wheel here, but they do kick up a smokin’ mix of raunchy stripped-down blues, vintage ’60s psych-pop, and Nuggets-era Farfisa garage rock, and they do so with a distinctive flair & fervor. Their energy is electric; and their wild, primitive playing is truly inspired. Instead of sounding like a band that’s trying to copy yesteryear’s rock n’ roll greats, the Jet Set sounds like it IS one of yesteryear’s rock n’ roll greats! If the fine folks at Wee Rock would have tried to pass this album off as some newly-discovered unreleased gem from 1966, I totally would have believed it!
And it all starts with the lead singer, who’d be a star if the typical music consumer had a lick of good taste. I wish I knew his name. The boy’s a righteous wailer with soul and swagger to spare...Imagine Jack White if he were weaned on gospel music & spawned from Iggy Pop’s demon seed. His cocksure squawk is absolutely captivating, and much of the band’s appeal stems from the dude’s sheer likeability (I like a singer who sounds like a guy you’d wanna drink beer with, not a guy who sounds like he beats up old ladies and locks up underaged girls in his basement). About half-way through the killer lead track, “1, 2, 3, 4, Fuck”, he lets loose a world-class scream that’s a cross between a young Little Richard hollering to the heavens and Scott Thompson impersonating a woman in a Kids In The Hall sketch. It’s something else (Ya gotta love a rock singer who knows how to scream real cool..it’s a dying art form ). It’s little things like that that really make a song memorable, and when you throw in the catchiest organ riff since “96 Tears”, you got yourself a solid gold hit in “1, 2, 3, 4, Fuck”.
Elsewhere, there’s lots more soulful screaming & shouting, irresistible organ action, ’50s-inspired guitar leads, down-and-dirty blues riffery, rambunctious drumming, and immediately memorable tuneage. Especially fab are “Cat Frame Glasses Designed for Boys” and a superhot cover of Andre Williams’s “I Wanna Be Your Favorite Pair of Pajamas”. I also dig the closer, “Let’s Go to Molly ‘n’ Clare’s Apartment”, which, with its hypnotic tone, weird beat, and drug-trip evocations, reminds me of a Doors epic filtered through the realm of new wave dementia.
Lots of bands pay lip service to the idea of “keeping rock n’ roll alive”, and lots of bands talk up their love for rock n’ roll. But far too often those bands come off more as pale imitations of “classic” acts than they do as relevant purveyors of timeless noise. They skillfully regurgitate every musical and lyrical cliche in the book, but their formulaic karaoke rock just doesn’t move the soul the way it’s supposed to. Thankfully, the Jet Set is NOT one of those bands. They not only love rock n’ roll but also deliver music that’ll remind ya of why YOU love rock n’ roll. Listening to their music, you’ll quickly find yourself shaking and twisting and bopping to the beat---not because you think you’re supposed to, but because you just can’t help yourself. Amen!
---Josh Rutledge, opinionated asshole
August 20, 2004
Here is what Rock N Roll Purgatory had to say about this record:
So you wanna hear some soulful, dirty, mashed-up, rhythm bound, bluesy, psychedelic, garage dance music? This is it, buddy, and it is good. All the bands that they have been compared to are ones that I am not very familiar with aside form the Velvet Underground (Gossip, Hot Snakes, The Chesterfield Kings, Caesars, and Richard Hell and the Voidoids), so I’ll just say that it isn’t that boring straight 60’s pop type garage, nor is it pulling Sonics levers or pressing Rolling Stones buttons. Instead, they use an organ sparingly and perfectly, a prominent snare drum, and righteous guitar licks to create something raw, different, and fun to listen to. It is so damn infectious you’ll feel your nervous system jerk rhythmically if exposed to these sonic pollens. Squares don your HAZMAT suits. - BL
Here is what Sleazegrinder had to say about this record:
Illinois paisley-punk show-offs The Jet Set are such hot property that it took three record labels just to release this, and believe me, even with the trio of takers tossing long green to the wind, there is still blood on the streets of Peoria tonight. Nobody knows exactly how this dirty deal went down, but suffice to say, the Jet Set are pissing into fur-lined urinals these days. So, what’s all the fuss? Do the J.S. deserve all the high-class call girls they burn through, or is this just more amped-up Midwest punk hype? Well, baby, my only suggestion is that you stand back and let this tsunami of purple-powered blooze slop madness ravage yr stereo, and then YOU tell ME, dig? It’s electric like a storm, this one, and it spills out the hits with an ass-blast of fuzzworm Farfisa, surf-rattle guitars, skull-busting drums, and black cat howling. And it rocks, in the most primordial way possible. Highlights? “Girl, I Don’t Dig Your Philosophy”, “She Rocked My Money for the Last Time”, and “I Sold My Soul to Pay the Rent”, but that’s just because I like those titles the best. Really, wherever you drop the needle, this is just the perfect soundtrack for chaining a Betty Page lookalike in your basement and doin’ weird stuff to her. Or whatever you’re into, that’s just a suggestion.
Here is what Smashin' Transistors had to say about this record:
Though the Jet Set are obviously mining a really drunken 6T's thang with the Farafisa's and Danelectro's there some screwy New Wave nuances wandering in and out. Mixing some Rum into a chocalate shake the Jet Set could make a huge mess at the right party. -dm
Here is what The Odyssey had to say about this record:
On one hand, I give these guys a whole lot of credit for making a farfisa-rock rock record that doesn't sound like every other single farfisa-rock record. But on the other hand, I sort of wish the guy playing keyboards was willing to be a little more showy with the thing. The keys are basically just doubling-up the guitar riff, which is good and simple, but it could use a little more volume and energy in some parts. I don't know. When you get to "The First Five Letters in Discovery Spell..." you can see things turn around a bit. I like the songs quite a bit though. Long song titles seem to be these guys' forte. - Phil Hunt
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