JETBOY – Born To Fly [Japan Edition +1] (2019)
American sleazy rockers JETBOY will release their new album “Born To Fly” next January 25 via Frontiers Music, tomorrow to appear this “Born To Fly [Japan Edition +1]” with the obligatory bonus track.
Jetboy disbanded when the musical climate changed in the early Nineties, but the group is back in full force and “Born To Fly” is their first proper album since 1990, so yeah, take that Grunge.
And even better, “Born To Fly” adds to, rather than detracts from, their legacy.
Primarily, you suspect, because unlike many of these reunions, three of these were the original Jetboy boys (and former Faster Pussycat Eric Stacy handles bass admirably) and like the old sporting saying, form is temporary, but class is permanent.
Back in the day, Jetboy had more in common with AC/DC than they did with Poison. Jetboy were a band that liked the blues and Free more than Spandex and Warrant – and that’s very evident here too.
“Beating The Odds” fair old screeches out of the blocks. When Mickey Finn sings “if you say we can’t do this, I’ll prove you wrong” in the chorus, you can’t help but sense a middle finger to everyone who dared write them off.
Similarly, the title track has the same gritted teeth, the same acca-dacca strut, but the double guitar solo is pure Thin Lizzy and deserves bonus points.
“Old Dog, New Tricks” though, is the best thing here by a mile. Absolutely filthy harmonica, and a chorus that anyone would give their right arm for, it’s the work of a band who knows exactly what they’re doing.
Not that the rest of it is shabby. Far from it. “The Way That You Move Me” has the same feel as The Stones doing a ballad, and the soul-filled backing vocals elevate it to a different level.
“Brokenhearted Daydream” on the other hand is a blue-collar thing that might be more readily associated with John Cougar Mellencamp, while “Inspiration From Desperation” is a stomping, stoic attack on the political classes in the US.
There’s not really a low point in this album if you like this musical style. There’s a bass groove to “All Over Again” that you can’t resist, “She” is somewhere catchier than the flu, but a hell of a lot more fun (and like a lot of them, the lyrics have a root in modern life).
“A Little Bit Easy” is actually more empowering than that title suggests too.
“Every Time I Go” is another fine example of the light and shade here, a mighty fine mid-paced rocker it adds another side to the band, as does the absolutely funky blues of “Smoky Ebony”.
Jetboy understand that this is only rock n roll. Lucky they like it. And they end things with a working class slice of it. “Party Time!” actually has a similar outlook to many of the characters in Springsteen’s “The River”, who work until quitting time on Friday and get ready to rock.
“It’s all about the weekend” sings Finn. For him, and fellow original members Fernie Rod and Billy Rowe, you guess it always was, and always will be.
“Born To Fly”? Nah. Born to Rock N’ Roll is the motto of Jetboy.
01. Beating the Odds
02. Born to Fly
03. Old Dog New Tricks
04. The Way That You Move Me
05. Brokenhearted Daydream
06. Inspiration from Desperation
07. All over Again
09. A Little Bit Easy
10. Every Time I Go
11. Smoky Ebony
12. Party Time!
JAPAN BONUS TRACK:
13. Born to Fly (Acoustic Version)
Mickey Finn – vocals, harmonica, tambourine, keyboards
Billy Rowe – rhythm and slide guitar, backing vocals
Fernie Rod – lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Al Serrato – drums
Eric Stacy – bass guitar