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When we last heard from Jettison Never we had just finished reviewing one of the smoothest, fast paced albums this side of the unsigned artist world. Through their signature harmony and unique musical blend, Jettison Never provided an unmistakable identity and sound on their debut album “They Fall From Heaven Unassembled”. The guys from Jettison mastered their craft so well that their song “Chemical” took home the top honors as our Best Rocksposed Song of 2009. So how would they follow up such a solid debut record? We took their newly released “Waiting for Apparitions” for a spin to find out.
The thing I mentioned in the review of their debut album that always surprised me with Jettison Never was how much cohesive sound they are able to make with just three people at the helm. Their drums are always crisp and at a feverish pace, the vocals are clean and harmonized, and the guitar can be downright mesmerizing. There is a ton of sound going on and every note of it is polished and attention getting. Building on what seems to be such a perfect formula without altering the results is a difficult task, but on “Waiting for Apparitions” Jettison Never added a new ingredient that set it apart from its predecessor........EDGE.
With a little more attitude than was seen on their last record, there are points on “Waiting For Apparitions” that are nothing short of pure rock n’ roll. Is a track like “Signs” immediately recognizable as a Jettison tune? HELL YES! But the last minute of the song also wraps up with a fantastic rock finale that would make any major label artist stop in their tracks. Jettison Never was always able to rip through their tunes at this speed, but the best way to describe the improvements they’ve made would have to be that every beat and note just seem more assertive. With the thick bass line, echoing guitar, and a cruising tempo, “Signs” is a perfect microcosm of the growth Jettison Never has made on “Waiting for Apparitions”. Each song has their signature smoothness, there’s just an element of edginess along for the ride with you.
One of the cool things about a three piece band is that you can pick out each members individual contributions, any weak links generally show themselves rather quickly. In Jettison Never’s case, it gives each member an impressive identity on each track. Ben Phillips utilizes some of the most impressive fills I’ve heard in years during the lead-in and intro on “Chain Reaction”. They are a thousand miles from the regular beat, but he pulls them together at a speed and precision that left me in awe. The same could be said of Josh Gilbert’s vocals on “Secrets”. He pushes the notes out harder then we’ve heard him do on any song to date; the resulting depth in his voice takes the song to another level. On many tracks his guitar takes center stage, but the emotion conveyed through his vocals is what takes “Secrets” up a notch.
While Josh Gilbert’s raspy, Southern Rock flavored guitar puts a memorable intro to “Quantum Leap”, make sure you crank the sub up on your stereo because the heart and soul of this song is Matt Gilbert’s bass. As he plucks along at the pace the lead guitar would normally enjoy, I couldn’t help but think that the old school intro and speed of this song reminded me of The Outlaws’ hit “Green Grass and High Tides”. The guitar solo soars and Phillips blisters along behind his kit to bring home the song’s big finish.
As I somewhat expected, Jettison Never does have a few slower, more soulful songs in the mix on “Waiting for Apparition” that conjure up the tone of their debut effort. “Don’t Go It Alone” is a slower ballad that is accentuated with some great lead and backing vocals. “Landslide” is a flat out blues tune, exuding a painful tone as it tells it’s tale. Both songs serve to point out that Jettison Never doesn’t have to rely on their speed to show you how talented they are.
As “Waiting for Apparitions” wraps up with the airy beginning of “Life is Surreal”, it would be hard to go without noting how well mixed and produced this album is. There are plenty of bands out there recording albums in their garage or basement that end up sounding pretty good. They don’t compare to the quality Jettison Never put into the production of this album. The bass is punched up, the highs are clean, and the overall balance of the channels is what allows the individual performances to shine. While a sound like this obviously isn’t found in the bargain bin, the professional production level of this album was worth every penny. To fully appreciate this album, find yourself a nice set of speakers and crank it!
Jettison Never has impressed me since the beginning with their creative sound. It’s outside the box from just about everything else in mainstream music right now. In a cookie cutter modern music world, they’ve found a way to separate themselves from the masses again through their combination of harmony and speed on ‘Waiting for Apparitions”. Where this new edginess will take them is yet to be seen, but based on this album it can’t be anywhere but up.
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As the Webmaster and Founder of Rocksposure.com, Chris Brach is always looking for new music from up and coming rock bands. You never know, they could be our next Artist of the Month! If there is something you think he should give a listen to, email him at GetRocked@Rocksposure.com