Monday, 14 September 2009 review Jet's "Shaka Rock"

"Like a lot of hugely enjoyable music, Australian rock band Jet are entirely ludicrous.

With a cartoon-like devotion to rock and roll that makes Angus Young look like Thom Yorke, they offend those who believe music should be simultaneously serious and ironical. But Jet have no time for such self-loathing. They have one mission, which is to write loud, daft and instantly familiar songs that shout “Look at me! Look at me! I’m doing a band!” at the listener, and to keep on doing it until they have filled up an album.

While they lack the grunginess of The D4 and The Datsuns, their nearest competitors (both musically and geographically), Jet are just as noisy and engaged. Their current single She’s A Genius is a perfect example, a tune that continues a great rock tradition of praising unusual women (from My Girl is Red Hot to Talking Heads’ Girlfriend is Better) and one that does so over a riff that’s so incontinently brilliant you expect a man with a shovel to be following it.

Jet’s roots may be in punk and rock’n’roll but – as befits a band with the same name as a Wings song – they know how to widen the brief. Seventeen (a title which lacks all originality but makes up for it with total catchiness) bounces down the road not only on big crunchy guitars but also a piano riff nicked from Foreigner’s Cold As Ice, some mad American power pop harmonies and a slightly insane butcher’s shop lyric about bleeding hearts decaying. Start the Show sounds like Supergrass channelling T.Rex, except with an idiot vigour and lack of distance that very few British bands could manage. And the final song here, She Holds a Grudge, which is also the longest at a whopping 4:17, is an almost Stonesy ballad (is that a pedal steel?) which aims for epicness without the bloat of a Coldplay or Verve.

Jet, then: three albums in and they’re still a lot of rough fun. They’re never going to be Oasis, but then, nor are Oasis…"

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