So who was it that recently said there are too many new bands around? Perhaps this is the case, a sudden rush of guitar music all to be dismissed as over-ambitious new trash. It’s refreshing new material from bands like The Strokes and The Music that keeps the indie scene from coming to a standstill. And now, a certain new band called Jetplane Landing help to push the current music scene forward, and present us with something worth checking out.
Zero For Conduct is the debut album from Jetplane Landing, a band formed from the ashes of a band you might not recall called Cuckoo, who were signed to Geffen. Only two years ago Andrew Ferris, ex-Cuckoo guitarist, moved to London and began writing music with bass player Jamie Burchell. They transformed a small garage into a recording space and hence the formation of Jetplane Landing, a band who claim their name is how they sound when they play live. The result? A superb debut album which blurs the boundaries of several genres and meets the requirements of most rock music fans.
The album opens brilliantly with “Tiny Bombs”, a pure rock number with rhythmic drumming you just have to tap your foot to and some interesting jazzy guitar riffs with hints of King Adora. A funky start followed by bursts of haphazard sounds make the track energetic and imaginative, and Andrew Ferris’s vocals are full of expression. The first time I heard this song was on Lamacq Live, and just hearing the first few seconds caught my undivided attention. (It’s become a reflex action: stimulus = fantastic music; response = dive for the record button on stereo). I ordered the CD based on this track alone and was not at all disappointed with what followed.
“This Is Not Revolution Rock” is a tuneful, uplifting song with an extremely catchy chorus and a contagious rhythm that makes it difficult to sit still whilst listening to. The title describes the approach of this track. It is simple at a first hear yet focused, and the lyrics are meaningful. “What The Argument Has Changed” is another of the albums strong points. The sound features At The Drive-In style (but perhaps more tasteful) vocals, and again, the lyrics are expressive (“So fuck you and your opposite sex”)! The type of music varies from one track to the next and contrasting styles always makes the next song unpredictable. “Underground Queen” with soothing guitar melody and “End Of The Night” are slower and more calming. The last two songs finish the album in yet another fashion.
Each song has a lot to say in terms of lyrics – they are the prominent feature, not at all repetitive and presented well (“Think Tom Verlaine meets Chris Leo and vocally you're part way there”). Influences include a range of artists from Velvet Underground to Shellac. Zero For Conduct is a strong debut album, and as stated in the second track, this is not revolution rock – it’s something much less complex.
8Sarah Hunt's Score