THE SCREAMING JETS – Professional Misconduct (2023)

THE SCREAMING JETS - Professional Misconduct (2023) - full

For more than 30 years Australian hard rockers THE SCREAMING JETS have lived by the ethos of the show must go, no matter what the adversity. They are proud to unveil their tenth studio album ”Professional Misconduct”, following the devastating passing of co-founder, chief songwriter and bass player, Paul Woseen.
The record features ten new tracks including the singles ‘Nothing to Lose’ and the anthemic track, ‘Second Chance’ and is their first full album of all-new music in 8 years. All bar one of the album’s tracks were co-written by the man fondly known as “Paully”, one of Australia’s most respected songwriters.
Produced by Steve James, who was there for the band’s first record, these new tracks blaze with the intensity of a band that’s just starting out. It’s been a long and eventful trip for The Screaming Jets, with the band accumulating four Top 10 albums and seven Top 50 singles along the way.

Lead single Nothing To Lose kicks things off with a typically stirring harmonious intro before guitarists Scotty Kingman and Jimi Hocking get to work and lay down the grooves. Frontman Dave Gleeson joins the chorus asking “what have I done, what can I do?”, to which there is no straight answer.
A well placed guitar run spices things up a bit before ripping into solo territory that quickly flashes from earshot and blends quietly back into structure before resurfacing towards the track’s end and carrying it home with restrained elegance.
By now The Screaming Jets are seasoned professionals, road warriors who moonlight as a rock band and all the years of service to rock and roll are openly on display from the outset with the boys slipping straight into a pocket and shutting out everything bar their music.

Come Down starts with Dave accusing us of taking his cake and eating it, but he soon gets off his high horse and his head back in the game as his trusty bandmates rush to provide sonic comfort. This track rocks in all the right places, chugging along at a steady pace until another guitar rip builds momentum before soaring into the darkness at meticulously placed junctures.
No Reason is a stripped back, raw sounding and pleasant rock number that allows the Jets breathing space. A good friend of mine once told me it’s not what you put into a song that makes it special. It’s what you leave out.

Recently released single Second Chance meanders out of the box with a rhythmic, shuffling tempo that is instantly addictive. Early reviews have labelled Second Chance as one of the finest ballads of the Jets 35 year career and at this stage I find it hard to disagree. A beautifully soulful guitar solo – and no, I’m not even going to try and guess which of the two alternating lead guitarists is playing at any set juncture – elevates things to an even calmer plain and for a brief moment there I could almost swear I heard Dave crying into his pillow, but I’m not sure enough to wage anyone’s cat on that one.

Throwing Shade is a straight-up rock banger, bouncing to life with renewed vigour. Although more of a blues-driven rock track, it still gets the juices flowing enough to almost throw my back out which nearly has me pressing the backwards skip button.
If there is one noticeable fact so far on Professional Misconduct it would be the more balanced nature of music inherent on each song. Gone is the carefree, almost reckless sense of craziness that filtered through almost every song and in its place is a – and trust me, I can’t believe I am saying this – more mature approach that only the soothing touch of contentment can bring.

The Screaming Jets no longer have anything left to prove. To themselves. To their fans. To anyone. And with this notion comes the cathartic realization that with no expectation comes no pressure and with that in turn comes absolute freedom.
Lying With Her has an instant country feel to it, a sole acoustic guitar gently plucking away over a dreary landscape of broken hearts and dreams. Then Shadows fires up with an impatient-sounding drum roll that soon finds solace as the empty pockets of music once more dominate the sonic landscape of less is more.

Crash Out Of Time swaggers up next, a cool guitar riff giving that strut kind of vibe that is swept away by a solid tempo from fresh drummer Cam McGlinchey who has settled into the band as though he has been there from the start. The man is a weapon live but shows off his chops and groove with greater restraint on this, his first album, and hopefully not his last. Midway through the song a totally unexpected guitar-driven breakdown kicks things up another gear and now the Jets are just showing off. And why shouldn’t they when they can put out high-quality music like this?

Give Me What I Want is a blues-based, guitar-infused slab of awesomeness that does exactly what it has to without trying to dazzle us with speed or baffle us with bullshit. Speed Quack is given the task of taking us home, and it sounds like this particular duck might have taken to his stash just a touch too often. It is a rollicking and fun ride to the finish line that doesn’t even bother pausing to look back.

The duck is the perfect embodiment of where The Screaming Jets are at right now. Head down, bum up, tail defiantly in the air and if you want to get down and dirty and quack with them then jump on board, but if not their feathers won’t be ruffled in the slightest.
Highly Recommended


01 – Nothing To Lose
02 – Come Down
03 – No Reason
04 – Second Chance
05 – Throwing Shade
06 – Lying with her
07 – Shadows
08 – Crash Out Of Time
09 – Give Me What I Want
10 – Speed Quack

Dave Gleeson – lead vocals
Jimi “The Human” Hocking – guitar, backing vocals
Scott Kingman – guitar
Cam McGlinchey – drums
Paul Woseen – bass, backing vocals (RIP)



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