A seventeen year old bloke from the U.K. put it best, "Donít
you know that itís hip to ironically like mullets?" How
do they know this stuff from across the seas? Wherever youíve
got hipster kids with the need to ironically raise the devil
sign in the air, a band will step up to fill the need. That
fine line between tongue in cheek and cheeseball metal is
a thin one. Itís that intangible element that Alice In
Chains had that was missing from Stone Temple Pilots.
Jet Black Joy is the product of muscle cars and steroids.
Theyíve not sold their souls to the devil, but to Chevrolet
and Budweiser. This is auto shop metal, as in no theatrics,
makeup, or operatic arias. Jim Yelenickís unwavering
shouts are badass drunk-on-testosterone howls. His mammoth
voice is matched by the humongous rock noise the band produces.
What they like to call Wet Panty Rock.
"You Got It" is a sludgy band signature piece.
Sort of a brooding, sleazy "Everybody Wang Chung"
The thing swirls real slow-like into a powerful brew. Mike
Smith releases a pleasant bluesy Slash solo underneath
the fuzz that doesnít even register on the wank scale. The
high-octane "Kama Sutra" has some snotty backseat
singing as it spins uncontrollably down the highway with the
top down like a Rat Fink character. Whatís really great
is the way the change-ups donít slow them down. Drummer Bryon
Beanís beats alternate between lines on the asphalt and
blurred signposts on the side. Bean was first seen in these
pages as the heavy hitter for Hemi Cuda. Smithís guitar
threatens to escape him on the Cult tinged "Pot
Oí Gold." in which the leprechaun is a real goer. Alive
in her motion as I begin to fall/My lifeís beneath her shadow/My
mind it echoes/Inside Iím fallow. Wet panty rock indeed!
The southern fried guitar work on "I See Red" accompanies
burly growling with a Suicidal Tendencies bent. The
meaty lines on this and "Make It" are fulfilling
thanks to Smithís lazy AC/DC licks. "She Said"
takes a gentle curve, even offering some nice acoustic jangling.
Yelenickís sliding sounds a little too much like a throaty
Scott Weiland for my taste here. Not since "Jane
Says" has the subject of loving a working girl been explored
with such heartbreak. The progressions are smart and Smith
puts in more climbing Slash-work in the solo.
Out of the gate thrasher "Release Me" suddenly
slows into a seductive strut." If Hetfield could
sing, Metallica might sound like this. Yelenick opens
his deep cavern of a mouth, and brother itís dark in there.
The backups are creepy ghostly laments. Then it takes off
again at thoroughbred pace. "New Emotion" is a punky,
fuel-injected speedball. The gruff "Canít Let Go"
brings Motorhead to mind. The discordant chorus is
exciting tension. "Gotta Believe" rolls in like
NWOBHM with abused cymbals and ringing bass. The unrelenting
rhythm charges through with swaggering guitars and a severe
tongue-lashing. The cover of Bad Brainsí "Soul
Craft" is so cocksure that it breaks in with a slobbering
Yabba-Doo rant and pulls it off. Its maniacal patronizing
vocals are Danzig doing Nick Cave instead of
Elvis. The farty farty bass and typically fantastic
drums introduce another bevy of inventive rhythms on "One
More You Suck". The production touches really add style.
And the anthemic chorus makes me miss Baldo Rex.
The well-crafted songs get their own individual flavor and
creativity. The sounds they employ are uncompromising and
enjoyable. The voice is pleasurable on so many levels, as
the lyrics are thoughtful and interesting. And the recording
techniques really compliment what the boys have accomplished.
On the hesher accessory scale: If one is a bandana around
the leg, and ten is a denim jacket with an "Eddie"
backpatch: Jet Black Joy rates and eight, a black t-shirt
depicting a sword rising from a commode.
Complaints Dept : Occasionally resembling STP on PCP.
ó Ewan Wadharmi
- You Got It
- Kama Sutra
- Pot Oí Gold
- See Red
- Make It
- She Said
- Release Me
- New Emotion
- Canít Let Go
- Gotta Believe
- Soul Craft
- One More You Suck
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