Few people will be unaware of the transformation that the music scene has suffered over the past decade. I'm not talking about itunes and the digital/mp3 era, but rather the attitude that lies within bands and artists: There is now such a clinical, soulless approach to `making it' as a band, in that ambitious musicians are forced to, or willingly, formulate their approach with such razor-sharp precision as to eliminate any and all possibility of failure, that it's difficult to identify the remnants of any kind of integrity or organic brilliance. Maybe that sounds a little bit harsh, and maybe those artists can't be blamed for adapting their every style, lyric, soundbyte and riff to achieve maximum success amongst an endless sea of aspiring rock stars. Maybe it's just the natural conclusion of the entire rock 'n' roll phenomenon, but it's difficult not to lose faith, as a listener, that there will ever be `real' music again.
I mention this because Jettblack are part of a new wave of retro-metal-revival. They are - in a sense - part of it, but there's a distinct difference: Jettblack are for real. Just one spin of their debut album should have every true fan of late 80s hard rock and heavy metal convinced that this is a group of guys who didn't just stumble upon Motley Crue and Iron Maiden last year; They most likely grew up on a diet of `the good stuff', perhaps whilst some of the early 90s stuff was even still around. To say that Jettblack are for real, and stand apart from their modern peers, isn't to say they don't pose for animated photos, wear their hair long, or write tried-and-tested good-time hard rock, because they do - just like most other quality rock bands. They're not breaking the mould, but they are filling with as much sincerity and quality as a band these days can. At the same time every other young band desperate for a piece of the pie is filling that same mould so quickly that it's full of air bubbles, inconsistencies and poor-quality substance. The results are fundamentally different. And to be honest, because of Jettblack's authenticity, they'll probably not see the success they deserve.
I've managed to catch Jettblack live a couple of times over the last few years and their show exudes all the same energy and conviction that this album does, if not more. One time they played to 50 people, another to 500, but the level of entertainment was the same. I, and by now I'm sure thousands of others, have waited patiently for the debut album to drop, and due to the quality of the riffs, hooks and choruses it's pleasantly familiar-sounding, and no filler in sight. Unfortunately for the UK, they'll probably be more in demand over in Japan, Europe, Scandinavia and the home of their label Spinefarm - Finland (all places where 80's style rock and metal still rule). But hopefully they'll still not neglect their home country.
Fans of Warrant, Skid Row and later Whitesnake... and just good-time hard-rock and 80s metal, should by all right love this.