Scubbacultcha Review 'Backlash Cop'
Heavy, intelligent, funky – Jetplane Landing have just blown everyone else off of the map with a genius concept album...
I've spent the last few days asking everyone I know if they've heard of Jetplane Landing. To the ones who replied that they have, I've asked them why the hell they never bothered insisting that I listen to them before.
To the ones that haven't, I've been enthusiastically evangelising about ''Backlash Cop', Jetplane Landing's latest album. And when I say evangelising, I am not overstating the case – I'm finding it difficult to successfully get across how brilliant I think this record actually is.
I'll try to describe it for you. Remember the funky grooves of the first Rage Against The Machine album, those searing riffs that made you want to dance and headbang at the same time? Okay, hold that thought. Now, add that to a bunch of young musicians who are clearly influenced by the uncompromising angular hardcore of the old DC scene and the abstract prog of outfits like At The Drive-In, but also taking on board ideas from funk, punk, hip-hip and everywhere else. Now, get that bunch of musicians to write what appears (to this listener at least) to be a concept album based loosely around an alternative reality wherein the greatest names of jazz, soul and funk take the place of the major figureheads and political powers of the last seven decades of American politics.
See what I mean? It just doesn't do it justice at all; there's so much to get worked up about here that the only way to really transmit the full effect is to force someone to sit down and listen to the whole album. It's not just the ideas that are awesome – the music sizzles like a crack-head on a New York pavement in high summer. The drums play snappy tight breakbeats, the bass shakes its arse around like someone who's just discovered how fun dancing can really be, the guitars move from blistering funk-inspired metal riffs to easy-Sunday indie jangle-chords and back again without ever once sounding in conflict with themselves. The lyrics talk about Dizzy Gillespie running for President; they talk about climbing the face of Miles Davis and seeing Africa from his eyebrow; they ask why Les Savy Fav never get played on the radio; and they lambaste DJs for playing “white music; anti-music; perspex.”
There's just so much in here to get your teeth into; after wandering a landscape of one-idea wonder-bands, listening to Backlash Cop is like stumbling into the Emerald City and having the Wizard of Oz throw a party just for you. It's bursting with musical skill and energy, packed with invention, energy, intelligence and off-beat humour – and it's a front-running candidate for my album of the year by a number of country miles. I don't care what flavour of guitar music you like, you owe it to yourself (and to musical culture in general) to make sure you listen to this album, and then play it to everyone you know while waving your arms around in frantic enthusiasm. You'll thank me for it afterwards.
- Paul Raven, Subbacultcha
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