Just over ten years ago, Rick Rubin hosted an actual funeral for the word def. And now it's time to hold last rites for another word: retro-rocker. Even though the term long ago lost any true meaning, it's been hung upon far too many a young band today whose sound harks back to the days of yore when mods and muttonchops roamed the earth. And you could bury more than a few of the bands along with the word, truth be told. But not Jet. The full-length debut from this Australian quartet may offer nothing much new sonically, but it's still an energetic and fun disc with enough greasy hot-shit guitar work and raunch and roll to make ol' Keef himself proud.

Brothers Nic (guitar, vocals) and Chris (drums) Cester, guitarist Cam Muncey and bassist Mark Wilson wear their influences on their sleeves. The Beatles, early Stones and Who, Kinks, T. Rex, Badfinger, ELO, AC/DC and even BTO run freely through the simple yet effective rockers "Are You Gonna Be My Girl," "Get Me Outta Here" and "Cold Hard Bitch" to the more spacey, soft ballads such as "Look What You've Done" and "Timothy." Guest keyboard spots by fifth Beatle Billy Preston and ex-Jellyfish leader Roger Manning also add a few nice touches.

Jet's lyrics are both simplistic and repetitive -- there's far too much material about needing to go and moving on, and elsewhere they repeat the title of one song about two dozen times. And yet the fire and energy of the band make up for it. Unlike the Darkness, who wants to fuck you, Jet just wants to rock you. "You gotta roll with whatever you know," Nic sings on the surf-tinged rave-up "Take It or Leave It," and that's exactly what Jet does: It takes off where other bands left off.

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero