9.5 of 10
Jetboy has always been a fantastic band, but for some reason, they were never given the due they truly deserved in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Was it possible that the band’s music was a little to blues driven? Was it that they never really wrote that definitive rock ballad back in the 80’s? I mean “Too Late” from the band’s second release Damned Nation was a pretty stellar composition that had hit written all over it, but I don’t think I ever heard it on the radio. Was the reason that Jetboy never become a household name because they were signed to MCA Records? We all have heard the rumors that MCA wasn’t exactly the right label to be signed to if you were a hard rock band. I often wonder had Elektra released the band’s first album like initially planned would things be different? Well, hindsight is 20/20. We could speculate until we’re blue in the face and frankly I don’t think we’ll ever come up with the right answer. With all this said, after all these years, does it really matter? What matters is the fact that the band is supercharged and creating new, straight ahead, in your face, 80’s sounding, 70’s influenced rock n roll! I think that about sums it up in a nutshell!
Jetboy’s new album, Born To Fly will be released via Frontiers on January 25th. Let me tell you, this album is a fine piece of work. The lead-off track “Beating The Odds” truly speaks volumes to what Jetboy is today. It’s 2019 and here they are. Take it or leave it. I will use the pun, “Like a Bad Disease” they just don’t go away – and why should they? As for the track itself, it’s infectious, tap your foot, bang you head composition that sees singer Mickey Finn sounding refined and gritty all at the same time. “Born To Fly” is an all-out rock n roll assault that builds slowly but never takes the listener too over the top. Take that with a grain of salt, this track is by no means is a letdown. It has a great sing-a-long chorus that infectiously captures your attention. “Old Dog, New Tricks” – is that a metaphor gentlemen? I don’t really think so. From my perspective and I could be wrong on this one, but it simply sums up generally how most of us in our 40’s and 50’s feel. Regardless of what you throw at us, we will learn and prevail. Be it through technology or general everyday life we have been around long enough to truly try something different and win at it. “The Way That You Move Me” is truly a gem on a so far solid rock n roll album. With a very Rolling Stones feel, this stellar track generates a feeling of content. The smooth, laid back feel adds depth to this already fantastic album. A definite vinyl track.
As the album moves along, the next few tracks simply satisfy. “Broken Hearted Daydream”, “Inspiration From Desperation”, “All Over Again” and “She” drive the bus and flow nicely. Nothing seems out of place. “A Little Bit Easy” is a stand out track for me. With a very direct guitar riff that builds the song into the chorus. The guitar riff between verses comes off direct, with a subtle touch. “Every Time I Go” pays tribute to that 70’s influence that I referred to earlier. The guitar tone is reminiscent of those days, but then again there’s a lot of that throughout. “Smoky Ebony” brings back visions of the great Damned Nation album, with a vocal that is gruff and slightly rough around the edges. The execution is perfectly calculated. This stellar album finishes off with “Party Time”. Should that be at the end? Or should it have been at the beginning? Regardless, a great track. Can we start this one again?
What can I say about Born To Fly that hasn’t already been said? If you’re a long time Jetboy fan or are new to the world of straight-ahead hard rock, this album truly deserves a listen. There are 80’s bands that release new music that simply does not live up to the expectations of their previous work, then there are bands like Jetboy who have taken the sound they created 30 years ago and taken it to another level. It’s that old adage about aging like a fine wine. That sums up Jetboy perfectly!
Stand out Tracks: 1-12
Review by Tyson Briden