BOARDING NOW - The Jetlegs (self released)
Seems like these Germans copped an earful of Radio Birdman on their frequent visits to Europe. That's entirely fine with me but don't mistake this 10-track debut album for a straight-up homage. There's more garage punk than Grande Ballroom in their schtick and guitarist Chris has a distinctive Stiv Bators leer in his vocals, a la his Bomp album era.
The Birdman accoutrements are there but are secondary to The Jetlegs' main game. Sure, there's a song called "The Murder City Nights Ain't Gone" and a trademark Tek chord progression is evident in "All I Need", but this trio has plenty of space in its songs so they lack the dense intensity of Birdman.
Even so, these are fine songs. "The Murder City Nights Ain't Gone" has a hooky "oh oh oh" chorus once you get past the obvious lyrical nod (see the YouTubeage below), while "Push Your Luck" and "Vacation Generation" take off down the highway at a rate of knots in a cloud of leather-scented smoke. You like driving music? "Hit It Hard" has some choice guitarwork and is one of the best tracks.
"Boarding Now" is entirely self-produced. The guitar could be a bit fatter but that's a quibble. Occasional organ fills out the sound and on "All I Need", a mid-tempo ballad with some deft guitar, recalls Died Pretty.
Late French band The Backsliders come to mind as a comparator - especially on "Screen Fiend" and the impassioned closer "In The Back Of Beyond."
There's not much devotees of garage rock haven't heard before but there's also not a lot they won't like. You can procure a copy directly from the band.
- The Barman
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