Rock Midgets Review 'Once Like A Spark' - 4/5

"You need Jetplane Landing in your life."

It never fails to amaze me that Jetplane Landing actually find the time to record albums considering they seem to spend most of their time touring the length and breadth of this icy isle. Still, ‘Once Like A Spark’ is their second album and it sees a significant shift in the band’s sound from the excellent 2002 debut ‘Zero For Conduct’. While the latter was full of quirky emo-punk reminiscent of a mix of Fugazi and Pavement, Jetplane Landing have now gone decidedly ROCK! And boy have they done it well.

As opener "The Violence" kicks in with a massive riffing intro, it’s obvious that the punk rock evident on stepping-stone EP ‘El Quatre Gats’ (which spawned mini-hit ‘Acrimony’) was very much a sign of things to come. "Brave Gravity" has more of a melodic edge but this is augmented by jarring guitars and a far more rocky attitude than the JPL of old. JPL’s blend of punk, chunky riffs and sparkling melodies is certainly accessible enough to win them some deserved mainstream attention. In particular the impossibly catchy "Calculate The Risk" has a stomping riff and memorable chorus the size of an overweight woolly mammoth (ahem…). "Do…It Now" and "Tethered By All That We Know" are more melodic, angular numbers that hark back to ‘Zero For Conduct' but the album finished off in rollicking style with the full on punk rock squall of "There Is No Courage Unless There Is Real Danger".

Eleven great songs, no pretence to be part of any ‘cool scene’ and a touring schedule that means they’re sure to hit your town soon – you need Jetplane Landing in your life.

Rating: 4/5

- Nick Mann, Rock Midgets