When The Screaming Jets hit Belmont 16s on the 28th of May, they’ll have a swag of tunes from their new album, Chrome to try out on us. The independant release through Dinner For Wolves (Rocket Distribution / InGrooves) will hit shelves, digital stores and streaming services on Friday the 6th May.
The release demonstrates why more than 25 years since their debut release, the former Novocastrians are still considered one of the best pub rock exports to come out of the Australian music scene. Chrome is a kick-ass long-player, heavy laden with riffs and gritty guitar solos, encompassing strong basslines and a tightness that can only come from years on the road. It is classic The Screaming Jets, harking back to a sound embodied in their early recordings, with a fresh slew of ideas and lead singer Dave Gleeson’s trademark vocals.
Whether you are a die-hard Jets fan, or just a lover of music discovering the band for the first time, there is something in Chrome that will resonate instantly. From the opening track – and first single from the album – Automatic Cowboy, through to the emotionally-filled Cash In Your Ticket, and the edgy Sex and Violence, the instrumentation is 100 per cent rock. There is nothing uncertain about this release, it is unapologetic, hard-hitting and has a rockin’ take no prisoners approach. The Screaming Jets are standing proud in their sound and refuse to back down.
Celebrating their 25th anniversary in the industry in 2014 was an enviable achievement to reach, and something that also acted as an incentive to get back into the studio and record again. Key songwriter and bassist Paul Woseen started pulling together songs for the album and the band sought out previous award-winning producer Steve James (All For One, Tear For Thought) before heading into the studio.
Dave Gleeson says there was no specific release timeframe in mind for the album, but essentially it seems like 2016 picked the band as being the right time. “We were going to have the album out last year when we completed it, but just like every time the Jets bring out an album, something comes up,” he says. “Thankfully it has gone the way it has – had we brought it out last year we wouldn’t have had it as coordinated as we have now. It is the right time to do it. We weren’t in a rush to get an album out, although we do love to put out new music, we wanted it to be perfect for us.”
Choosing to work with Steve James again was a fortuitous move. “We love Steve James,” says Dave. “He has been such a big part of the formation of the sound of The Jets from day one. We have worked with other producers, but Steve just gets me and Paul [Woseen] and loves The Screaming Jets and all that we stand for. It was kind of a rematch made in heaven. There are many people out there who call themselves producers and charge big money, but he really is a producer and knows all about engineering, vocal hooks to lyrics… he is the complete package. We have never worked with anyone as good as him before or since.”
The sound the band envisaged for this album is exactly what they came out with as an end result. Never a band to try and take outward influences and make them their own, The Jets drive was all about originality, finding a chemistry within the songs and ensuring performing the new tracks felt as natural as rockin’ out to their extensive back catalogue. There is no doubt that Chrome is distinctly The Screaming Jets.
“We always try to make sure that we represent ourselves as classic Aussie rock,” says Dave. “More than showing anybody else, but just to get in there and feel the excitement that we did in the studio. Sometimes things just feel right, sometimes you are in the studio and it is like pulling teeth. Other times you hang out with your mates, laugh and tell stories and record great music. We have come out with something we are totally proud of – something to hold up as the real deal. It is classic Aussie rock.”