Jet – Get Born: Retro Rockers from Down Under

On their debut album, Get Born (Elektra Records), Jet proves they are more than just a scrappy foursome from Melbourne, Australia playing around their garages. Though they may hail from the land down under, these guys more closely resemble the British Invasion crowd of the 1960 than fellow Aussie bands like Men At Work.

They manage to rock the spectrum of rock and roll from the early blues roots of The Rolling Stones to the more melodic pop of The Beatles. They even touch on some of the heavier Kinks riffs.

The boys in the band coming out swinging on Get Born‘s opening track “Last Chance.” Taking the venom of the younger dirtier Rolling Stones, Jet kicks the album into hard core rock and roll territory in a big way. There’s no easing into this album – Jet has arrived and they want you to know it.

The screeching rocker “Take It Or Leave It” finds the Aussie band stepping a on Robert Plant’s toes a little too much. When Jet vocalist Cameron Muncey goes for the rock wail, it is powerful but he doesn’t quite have the song to back him up yet though. Sure, Plant used to holler to the rafters, but Led Zeppelin had songs like “Rock And Roll” that were truly something to howl about.

Just when you think Jet is all about guitar and drum thrashing they pull a complete 180 by delivering some slower songs that have just as much intensity as the louder numbers. “Look What You’ve Done” is as pretty and poignant as any of the ballads that came out of the Lennon/McCartney catalogue.

“Move On” is stripped down to the barest of minimums – just Muncey and a guitar. It’s a class singer/songwriter 1970s piece. “It’s such a waste/To always look behind you” may sound like a clichÃ?©, but the tune is tinged with just the right amount of melancholy here to give it some real weight.

Jet’s strongest track is the absolutely rollicking “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.” From the moment the first jangling chords hit, you know something special is in store. The band does everything right and it’s astonishing to hear.

There’s The Kinks, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones plus that little something extra special that is Jet all rolled into one. The vocals are on the attack here and it’s right on the money as Muncey yelps “You look so fine/That I really want to make you mine”.

While “Are you Gonna Be My Girl” might be aggressive, the song “Cold Hard B****” is an attempt by Jet to be totally hard-core. You can hear the boom booms of the rhythm section and image the band working on their sneers, but in trying so hard the they never quite make this persona convincing.

All in all, Jet’s first album Get Born is a strong entry into the rock and roll cannon. For all the critics and A&R people out there who are moaning that rock is dead, take a listen to this four-piece. They’ll knock you on your ear – and there’s nothing more rock and roll than that!

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