JetKing - "Theories to Suit Facts"
by Chris Dyer
Jet King Theories to suit Facts
Review by Chris Dyer
Bristol in the South West of the UK is known for many things – farmers, seafaring, cider, Vicky Pollard and last but not least – Music.
OK, the prime movers and shakers in Bristol’s music scene (Massive Attack, Roni Size and so on) have been very sporadic in releasing material into the wider consciousness and not very active with the notable exception of Portishead with their recent third album. To the casual observer, Bristol could be seen as a machine churning out trip hop and drum and bass tunes, reveling in the shadow of the latest “street art” from the renowned wall stenciller Banksy.
Time for something different, then? You bet! Into the ring strides JetKing, a band brimming with ideas and invention with their debut album release “Theories to Suit Facts”. Guitar-laden, hook-laden, synth and beat-laden and dare we say – a breath of fresh air to break the Bristol mold at last. Diversity is the key, my friends…
No indie-by-numbers in evidence, and no bandwagon jumping either. Yes, I concede that there is a LOT of synth in evidence to back up the otherwise traditional 4-piece vocals / guitar / bass / drums lineup as is the norm at the moment, but its what they do with the synth's that actually sets them a long way apart from the pack.
Take track 3, entitled “Tales of the Unexpected” mixes snarling guitar and bass, explosive drums and an aggressive synth hook that could have come straight out of a naggingly-catchy break beat tune.
Similarly (but not similarly!) track 9, “Freefall” begins with a dirty, insistent Hammond organ riff, beats the heck out a drum kit with extreme energy, and mixes in some head-turning synth arpeggios into the brew that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on a Who record.
Other notable moments include the opener and closer to the album – E-Phemera and Pretty Please – great bookends to the album to set the mood at the beginning with the insistent climbing fuzzed bass line on the former and close you down with the roller coaster-ride epic that is the latter.
It’s a pretty consistent album too, with no obvious “filler” tracks and a production value that verges on sounding like it was recorded through vacuum tubes in an old studio – a real vibey sound that is all-too rare in this digital age, and almost at odds with the modernity of the material. Yet it works...
While the songs are varied and interesting, they still manage to keep the good ship JetKing on an even keel throughout. It definitely sounds like an “album” rather than a collection of disparate songs – everything fits and justifies its place and position. Its like it arrived fully formed into the world and that is important for any album. It can be the difference between a good album and a bad one – and JetKing score highly here.
If I was to draw conclusions and try to sum up the sound I’d go out on a limb and say that if you mixed the lo-fi feel of Kasabian with the energy of early Charlatans or Feeder and the downright dirtiness of Primal Scream in places with a smattering of mid-era Prodigy electronics, you’d have a fair idea of what to expect, although the end result doesn’t really sound like any of them per se.
I have been drawn to re listen to this album regularly since I got it a mere 3 days ago, and each time I get something new from it. I can see lots of crossover appeal in this release and that can only be a good thing for the listening public.
Currently the album is available from Amazon UK and the band’s own website, www.jetking.info although I am told it will be available from iTunes soon.
I would heartily recommend that you pick up a copy and judge for yourselves.
Myself, I would give it a big 4.5 / 5
2. Smoke and Mirrors
3. Tales of the Unexpected
4. You've Made a Big Mistake
5. In the Land of Monkeys
6. Reasons to Disappear
7. Weasel MD
8. Opting Out of the Rat Race
12. Pretty Please
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About The Writer
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.