Welcome to the new series “The Debut”. This monthly series will bring you some of my favorite debut albums by bands from across all the decades I have been alive. It will cover rock and pop and who knows what else. To begin with, the albums will be debut albums that I absolutely loved and I discovered when the album actually was released and not found years later. I will get to those eventually. So sit back and I hope you enjoy “The Debut”…
In 2003, one of the most unoriginal bands to come along and who stole their sound and style from such great bands as AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, Oasis and Iggy Pop brings us a collection of songs that show heart and at the same time are so catchy that you can’t help but take notice.
Brothers Nic & Chris Chester, Cameron Muncey and Mark Wilson are Jet. An Australian band that found success overnight on their first album release called ‘Get Born’. They recorded the album at Sunset Sound Studios in L.A. and it was produced by Dave Sardy (who had previously produced Marilyn Manson).
And something I didn’t know before writing this post was that the name of the album was taken from the Bourne Identity movie starring Matt Damon (‘Get Born’…I get it now…don’t know if I believe it, but I get it). I also read the title comes from a line in Bob Dylan’s song “Subterranean Homesick Blues” which is more believable.
The album peaked at #1 in their home country of Australia and made it to #26 on the US Billboard 200. The album did reach platinum status in both countries and actually 8x Platinum in their home country. It has sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide. What also helped this album is that Jet received the prime opening slot for the Rolling Stones tour in 2003.
The album opens with “Last Chance”. The song is fast paced and short at only 1:52 long. However, the energy is so electric with the distorted guitar sound and fast pounding drum beats. Here is where their AC/DC influence comes shining through. The pace is so quick you don’t have time to catch your breath. It definitely gets your attention and gets you moving right out of the gate.
“Are You Gonna Be My Girl” was the band’s first single and it was very well received. The use of the tambourine was not all that common anymore in songs and it worked so perfectly in the song styling. Speaking of song styling, it is believed that this song was a rip-off of Iggy Pop’s song “Lust for Life” due to the numerous similarities. Jet states they were influenced more by Motown and that was where the sound came from and less so from “Lust for Life”. Iggy said the same thing about “Lust for Life”. Here are both songs so you can judge for yourself.
“Rollover DJ” was the 2nd single released in Australia & the UK, but was the 3rd single in the States. I really loved the throwback garage rock sound of all their songs. This was a great old school sound and really got you moving. All their songs did well on the US Alternative and Mainstream charts, but not so well on the Hot 100 charts.
The fourth track and their fourth single was their first ballad. The piano based ballad, “Look What You’ve Done”, was their highest charted song in Australia. The piano was a nice touch and along with Nic’s vocals, made for a wonderful ballad and no surprise that it was a hit.
The tempo doesn’t stay slow for long. “Get What You Need” comes pounding in and the gritty guitars and raw sound are back to get you moving again. It’s as if the Stones were speaking to you. There is also some great bass work on this one from Mark Wilson which makes this standout a little from the others.
“Move On” is another ballad. Opens with some acoustic guitars and proves that this band can really do some great ballads as we now have two on the album. The hints of country music with the guitar sound and the harmonica are nice added bonus. The album does offer a lot of diversity in styles.
“Radio” is a another that leans more to the ballad side than the rocker side. I do like the guitar riff on this one that gives it a more unique sound from the other ballads. While still great, it is not up to the same level as the other two and disrupts the flow of the album a little.
The fifth and final single on the album was “Get You Outta Here”. Another rocker and short at under 3 minutes. It is my least favorite of the singles and I probably would have picked a different song as this one doesn’t have a lot to offer in my book.
All is redeemed with “Cold Hard Bitch”. Their third single (or 2nd in the US) is one of their most memorable. It is another AC/DC influenced song with the guitar sound and overall tone. The song reached #1 in the US on the US Mainstream Rock Song chart and deservedly so. The fun, sort of mean-spirited song along with Nic’s screams make for an all around fun rock song.
“Come Around Again” is another ballad backed up with guitars and an organ. Another heartfelt song by Jet. As much as I did like this song, part of me feels that they had a few too many ballads. Instead of releasing a 13 track album, if they would have cut a few songs and make the album shorter, I think the album would have been a lot tighter and even that much better.
The fast pace of “Take It Or Leave It” comes screaming at us like a machine gun. The song was only 2:23 and packs a quite a punch in that short time frame. It is simple and amazing at the same time. I think Jet shines on little songs like this. The old school rock & roll is something that was surely lacking when this came out.
Now on the 12th track, “Lazy Gun” gives us a new sound. The song adds more variety to the album which is welcomed at this point. The vocals have an other worldly sound to them that we don’t get anywhere else. The song almost doesn’t fit the overall album style and might have made a great bonus track. However, because of its uniqueness, I do quite like it.
The last song on the album is “Timothy”. The song was dedicated to Cameron Muncey’s brother who died when he was a baby. It is another emotional ballad, but there is so much emotion and I love it lyrically that I find this one to be one of the better songs on the album and a great closer.
- “Last Chance”
- “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”
- “Rollover DJ”
- “Look What You’ve Done”
- “Get What You Need”
- “Move On”
- “Radio Song”
- “Get Me Outta Here”
- “Cold Hard Bitch”
- “Come Around Again”
- “Take It Or Leave It”
- “Lazy Gun”
The debut by Jet was so awesome to me. I loved the old school sound which was different than most other stuff I was listening to at the time. Sadly, I don’t think they ever hit the level of greatness on their follow-ups as this one was to me. I have still bought everything they have put out and it is all awesome. This one though is still my favorite. If you haven’t ever listened to it, check it out and give it a try. I don’t think you will be disappointed. Enjoy!!