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Jet rediscovers rock and roll

Rebecca Saunders | Thursday, January 22, 2004

All great bands have at one time been inspired by, or at least maintain, a deep respect for either The Rolling Stones or The Beatles. The four members in the Melbourne-based band Jet grew up on both. The influence is obvious in their music, which succeeds in being not only an album heavy with rock, but an album immersed in the music that is rock and roll. In the faster and heavier rock songs of the albums, Jet sounds a great deal like The Rolling Stones; it is at times almost difficult not to get up and dance along with the beat. Using instruments like tambourines and harmonicas throughout the album, an older and deeper level of rock and roll is explored. The overall experience of Jet’s first album, Get Born, is incredible, one that you makes you want to move with the music and fixates all your attention.The name Jet itself was taken from Paul McCartney’s “frazzled post-Beatles peak from 1973.” Jet has the spark of the early Beatles albums that leaves “girls weak at the knees,” but in no way can Jet’s album be called “pop.” It is a mixing of the world of rock and pop under a scratchy garage rock sound and all that comes through is terrific. The band itself is composed of four members: two brothers, Nic and Chris Cester, Nic on guitar and vocals and Chris on drums and vocals. Cameron Muncey covers guitar and vocals and Mark Wilson completes the group with his unique bass sound. Jet grew up on the greats like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, but when writing Get Born, they were looking farther into music history than those two famous bands, looking instead into the sound that inspired them. It worked. Get Born is a terrifically diverse album put together by great musicians making an impressive and memorable sound.The band’s current single, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl,” is everything a great rock song should be. Starting with a tambourine, mixing in a funky bass line, adding in some strong drums, the singer clears his throat, the guitar picks up and then the singer jumps into the unique lyrics: “1, 2, 3 take my hand and come with me because you look so fine and I really want to make you mine.” There is not much more that needs to be said. Each song is clearly thought through and Get Born takes the listener on a musical ride that they have not been on before. “Last Chance,” “Get What You Need” and “Get Me Outta Here” are similar rock climaxes on the album. Furthermore, Get Born is a great mix of the fast and slow. The softer songs such as “Look What You’ve Done,” “Move On” and “Radio Song” are terrific as well. The music is continually interesting and varied throughout the album. There are a lot of sounds of throat clearing, talking, and the like, but none of that technique is overdone at all. The music builds throughout each song and the album as a whole is extremely impressive.Jet is unquestionably one of the best new bands this year. With a familiar yet unique sound, it would be hard to believe that any rock and roll fan could do anything but love Get Born.

Contact Rebecca Saunders at rsaunder@nd.edu