CD Review of Get Born by Jet

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Get Born
starstarstarstarhalf star Label: Elektra/Wea
Released: 2003
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“Well I been thinking ‘bout the future, too young to pretend,” singer Nic Cester breaths into the opening stanza of the 1970s throwback ballad “Move On,” a quieter moment on an otherwise flailing debut by four Australians who must absolutely love the Rolling Stones. Young indeed, but these kids are miles from pretending. How better to pay homage to the Stones, not to mention T. Rex, Iggy Pop, Cheap Trick or even The Beatles, than to lay down 13 gleaming verses ripe with all that makes classic rock classic. Traditional without bowing to lazy is exactly what Jet’s Get Born represents, and it comes in like a ton of bricks to tender the last great album of 2003.

“Move On” is a sincere ringer for…well, you pick it...“Wild Horses,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” et al. Meanwhile, the granular riffs and flamboyant tambourine parts amongst “Get What You Need” play right back to It’s Only Rock N’ Roll. But let’s get something else straight -- the Stones’ fans are not the only ones likely to adore this fab new record. The instant addiction that holds “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” (might have seen this colorful I-Pod ad on TV?) owes a debt to early Iggy and the Stooges, with some staid Bon Scott yelps for kicks.

Riff upon unadorned riff, recurrent tambourine galore, and more deliberate hand claps than a golf tournament, Get Born delivers a true shock masterpiece from the unexpected hands of four youngsters who had no overstated Strokes-like intro, no SPIN covers and until now, very little airplay. Credit Dave Sardy, I suppose. He’s worked with Marilyn Manson and Red Hot Chili Peppers before Jet, and he surely had a high time with these guys. Cester and comrades somehow sound more American than the Black Crowes and less Australian than AC/DC.

Still not full with over-the-top comparisons to classic rock? “Get Me Outta Here” is seasoned just shy of Who Are You from The Who’s catalog. An obvious tip of the hat to Revolver era Beatles is played out on the dreamy final cut, “Timothy.” Then there’s the David Bowie rip off “Lazy Gun,” easily an outtake from Ziggy Stardust. But, again, average band on top of average band has come and long gone trying merely to make a living off sounding like the Stones. It takes so much more. Actual career building in today’s music biz takes talent, for starters, but it also takes balls, backing, production, marketing and a brush of good luck. I really can’t say where this first record will take Jet, but the more-than-impressive groundwork has been laid. Get Born is very much the kind of record you could listen to for the next 20 years and then again for the next 20 years after that.

~Red Rocker