American Jetset arrived in the world a little over a year ago and immediately impressed me on their debut EP ‘Live Love Die on Main.’ It quickly became a fixture in my rotation for the rest of the year. This release I suppose could fall in the mini-album category at six songs plus an intro. If you rewind 35 years, these songs would now be lodged into your brain by being played over and over again over the years as they would have been stars on the Sunset Strip, but the nice thing is American Jetset injects a healthy dose of a modern feel into their sound.
‘Welcome to Devil’s Canyon’ serves as a brief intro track that takes across the desert and into town as the train passes by. Drums rise in the background until we hear a woman scream that takes us into the sleazy awesome ‘Walking Contradiction.’ I love the bass intro by Kevin Harrington as it really sets up the entire song. With a sleazy groove that reminds me of early Faster Pussycat with some Junkyard added into the mix, this one contains a great hook in the chorus both vocally and musically. Ian Kaine MacGregor (also guitar) possesses a voice that can be really smooth but can also carry a slight sleazy whine when it is needed. ‘Gold and Nines’ keeps up the excellence with a commercial feel, huge chorus, and plenty of guitar licks throughout the song to make you break out the air guitar. They even add in a part totally designed for a crowd to sing the chorus with them which makes it extremely contagious on even a first listen.
Lance Reeder and MacGregor have loaded these songs with plenty of guitar riffs and solos so even the mid-tempo ‘One More Time Around’ features an excellent riff and a vibe that just screams celebrating life, this moment, and blocking out whatever wall reality may be ready to throw at you. It makes me wish I had the ability to play guitar. They take a slight turn on ‘Getaway Car’ which adds the slightest of twangs to the music but is in no way a country song as it is still clearly a rock song, just more subdued. The backing vocals give it some nice depth, and the guitar solo works perfectly.
‘1000 Ghosts’ features a quick riff that provides an immediate hook to the song that sticks to you like maple syrup on your feet. They then lay into a catchy chorus that will likely find you singing along as you’re bouncing around the room, car, etc. The final song ‘Never Be Goodbye’ provides that acoustic campfire kind of send off that works perfectly for this release. As the band’s stature grows, this could turn into one of those moments where it is just the crowd singing and clapping as the band prepares for an encore.
At just about 20 minutes, there are no wasted moments here. It is over way too fast and leaves you wanting more. The solution is, of course, to play the whole thing over again, and, if you don’t have them yet, I recommend adding the first EP and the ‘This Ain’t Hollywood’ single to your mix for more of a full album experience. American Jetset crashed into my world over a year ago because of their great songs, and this release shows that they were not a one-trick pony. Pick up this album and prepare to sing your butt off while these songs remind you of how good music can make you feel.
‘Saloon Rock Whiskey Pop’ is available now.
Author: Gerald Stansbury