Across The Line reviews 'Zero For Conduct'
A few years back, Andrew Ferris was a colourful guitar-slasher and full-on enthusiast with Derry act Cuckoo. They’d signed a grand deal with Geffen Records, but could never find a comfortable place between the mainstream and the underground. It ended badly, but Ferris was smart enough to gain from the experience.
So, Jetplane Landing, his new project, has integrity, cool and a passionate reason for being out there. The act also features Sussex brothers Jamie (bass) and Raife Burchell, and it was recorded at their parent’s garage at week-ends. Thus far, the interest has been flagged up by mates, web action and visitors to their current shows. Now they have a record label, distribution and many fave reviews in the music mags, some of them keen to regard JPL as an of-the-moment ‘emo’ act.
But this is intelligent, unique music, beyond trends. You can hear bits of J Mascis, Pavement, the pained swoon of Elliott Smith and the politicised, hectoring style of say, The Make-Up or At The Drive-In. The tunes are wonderful and the guitar action is surprisingly odd. Take ‘Underground Queen’ as an example of the band’s tender aspect, a bruised farewell to life as it was.
Or for a revving contrast, try ‘This Is Not Revolution Rock’, a bunch of jittering slogans, looking for meaning beyond the easy dogma. "Cancel your subscription to love’s young dream," Andrew bellows. But of course, the whole album is still spiked with romanticism and the supposed clarity of youth. Contradictions: don’t you love them?
He cusses plenty, waffles about Pythagoras and gets so emotional at times that the words are tumbling, spinning out of reach. And of course, the listener has been here also, sharing in the anxiety, and pain and frustration. Which is why a lot more people will be subscribing to this particular young dream in the coming months.
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