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Jet Black Joy
Jet Black Joy
Release Me Records

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

Track Listing:

  1. You Got It
  2. Kama Sutra
  3. Pot Oí Gold
  4. See Red
  5. Make It
  6. She Said
  7. Release Me
  8. New Emotion
  9. Canít Let Go
  10. Gotta Believe
  11. Soul Craft
  12. One More You Suck

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