WARBLY JETS: SELF-TITLED

October 17th, 2017 | Album reviews

WARBLY JETS
self-titled
Rebel Union Entertainment

In a recent interview, Britpop patron saint and giant walking quote Liam Gallagher had this to say about the current rock scene: “If you’re going to do ‘guitar music’ you have to put a fuckin’ guitar on the record. Put the fucker in. Stop wearing it like it’s a fuckin’ necklace.” On their debut album, Warbly Jets put the fucker in, stomping through eleven tracks that would be right at home with the shreddiest Supergrass or Oasis songs—leading many to believe that the Jets also hail from across the Atlantic. Instead, frontman Samuel Shea and keyboardist Julien O’Neill are recent transplants from New York, hooking up with ace drummer Justin Goings and bassman Dan Gerbang after voyaging to the West Coast. Typical L.A. music this is not: local trends like winsome psychedelia and greenhorn garage that have infiltrated the scene are blown away by the Verve-like strings and breakbeats on “Getting Closer (Than I Ever Was)” and the leather-clad prowl of “Fast Change.” “Keep Pushin” serves as the ambitious centerpiece, its refraction of the 60s through a 90s lens extremely reminiscent of Primal Scream’s “Movin’ On Up,” down to the pseudo-Stones bongos and gospel backup vocals. It’s very aspirational, done with a confidence that’s rare for a debut album, but falls a bit short by being so referential. Where they shine brightest are straight-ahead, muscle-y rumblers like “The Lowdown”—whose swaggering, fat riff promises to shake sternums across L.A., or the thrashy, reverb-soaked “Shapeshifter.” Another album highlight, “Raw Emotion,” serves as a change of pace, its classic riff and sing-a-long, fist-pumping chorus bringing into play some glammier influences. Warbly Jets pride themselves on whispering their influences instead of screaming them—true to a point, but not all the way. This is massive, sexy, slinky, killer stuff, but we’ve heard it before—not that that should keep starved rock ‘n’ roll fans from welcoming them with open arms.

—Madison Desler

WARBLY JETS’ SELF-TITLED ALBUM IS OUT FRI., OCT. 20, ON REBEL UNION ENTERTAINMENT.