JETTBLACK – Raining Rock

Jettblack - Raging RockEveryone who believes that the melodic hard rock of the eighties died when whiney man Cobain and his dull entourage took over in the mid nineties should lend an ear to one of England’s Jettblack’s albums Get Your Hands Dirty or this new one. Because if this lot doesn’t convince you that that brand of music is still alive and kicking, then I guess nothing will. This band is not a bunch of dudes in their mid forties, but a gang of young guys who have had a good hard look at their parents record collection and found out for themselves which kind of music that kicks their butts. Orginally they was some kind of skate rock band called Skirtbox which released two albums between 2000 and 2003. Apparently, they grew out of that silly little phase and decided to go all in on the music that really mattered to them. Tours with Airbourne and in the line up at both Hard Rock Hell and Download festivals made the band tight and ready enough to record their debut album Get Your Hands Dirty in 2010. That album didn’t exactly became the talk of the town anywhere, but a good enough foundation of what to come. And with their latest release things have started to take off for the guys. And even tough, they’re still might be a diamond in the rough and the album is a bit uneven at times, there are clearly traces of greatness somewhere in there.

For starters, the band really sounds like a unit, in an “us against the world” kind of way. Second, they seem to know how to make a catchy hook over a big hard rock wall of sound. The title track, for instance, is  a really good song, but a bit cliché. But you get the feeling that these guys loves the cliché so much, it becomes trustworthy. Besides it comes in two versions. The second one that finishes the album, singer Jon Dow duets with Udo Dirkschneider of Accept fame. “Prison Of Love” is very catchy and reminds me of Warrant in their glory days, “System” is a raunchy rocker that’s probably gonna be a future crowd pleaser, “Black Gold” is a brilliant, heavy ballad, “Something About This Girl” is a total cliché, but still a very good song, “Never Gonna Give It Up” is total 80’s pop rock and “The Sweet And The Brave” is a great song with bluesy undertones.

However, the album doesn’t really cut it all the way through. It contains a few unmemorable tunes too many and it’s hard to get a grip on stuff like “Temptation” that feels a bit too boring for comfort. There are a few new beginners slip ups that needs to be sharpened off before the band can reach greater heights. For once, the need to find their own identity and sound, because frankly, there are nothing here that makes them different from any other band in this genre. For somebody who is a die hard fan of melodic hard rock and listens to nothing but, this might be an obvious buy, but for the rest of us, I guess they need to cultivate their brand a bit.

Jon Wilmenius (6/10)

Track list:

1. Intro
2. Raining Rock
3. Less Torque, More Thrust
4. Prison Of Love
5. System
6. Black Gold
7. Something About This Girl
8. Sunshine
9. Temptation
10. Never Gonna Give It Up
11. Inbetween Lovers
12. Side Of The Road
13. The Sweet And The Brave
14. Raining Rock (featuring Udo Dirkschneider)

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