Album review: JETBONE – Magical Ride

JETBONE – Magical Ride

Juicy Peach [Release date 29.09.15]

The dynamically named Jetbone is a Swedish band that sounds as if they’ve been listening to their parent’s record collection. They’ve stepped into the studio with strong enough material to record an album full of real swagger and exuberant musical twists and turns.

By the time of the evocative ballad ‘Rosalee’ at the three quarter mark, their swashbuckling style and exuberant musical journey will have you fist pumping the air in delight.

The band features two song writing vocalists; bass player Gustav Sjodin and guitarist Alin Riabouchkin, whose contrasting phrasing brings light and shade to the band’s collective intensity.

They sparkle on expansive arrangements, catchy hooks, booming vocals and scintillating playing that contributes to, rather than dominates the songs

Jetbone tear into each song with a real ferocity to suggest this is a one shot deal. The album derives its coherence from a rich production overseen by Mikael Lyander.  Both the band and Lyander place a high emphasis on a layered wall of sound and salient vocals, as evidenced by the funky groove of ‘Working Hard For Your Money’.

At times they explore a good old fashioned rock and roll vibe, boosted by pumping horns, but Jetbone is a broad musical church that brings together hard rock, blues, funk and soul with total commitment

The band combines sharp dynamics with a series of essential grooves that lie at the heart of their music. And while they wear their influences on their sleeve – check out the country tinged Stonesy intro on ‘Mixed Emotions  and The Faces meets Little Feat staccato funk of  ‘No Way Out’- they are as adventurous as they are confident, finishing the former as with an unlikely tempo change and gospel outro.

The same gospel style bv’s are later revisited on the burgeoning ‘Fifth Time Loser’, which is a typical example of their exuberant style.

They slip into an apparently languid ballad ‘Woman’ to initially evoke Traffic, until a choral wall of sound gives the piece unexpected grandeur.

The key to the band’s musical depth lies in their ability to shift musical directions both within and between songs. They also let their music to breathe, from the chopped chorus, ripping slide and descending organ line of the massive ‘Working Hard For your Money’ to the jangling guitars of ‘Dust In My Eye’, while the combination of a power chords, chanted hook and big horns of ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’ pushes them towards stadium rock.

In complete contrast, the contemplative ‘You Are My Love’ almost sounds as if it’s from another session, before they round things off with the mid-paced funky title track, on which they deliver the defining line: “Can you feel the groove, keep on digging that rhythm and blues.”

‘Magical Ride’ lives up to its name both as a title track and the album as a whole. Jetbone effortlessly fulfil their imaginative potential with a surging musical sweep, unfettered energy and intuitive playing

The closing children’s choir and merry-go-round outro reinforces the notion that ‘Magical Ride’ is unique body of work.

Jetbone raid the past to reshape the future and on the evidence of this album rock and roll is in safe hands and the future is Swedish!  ****

Review by Pete Feenstra

Pete Feenstra presents his Rock & Blues Show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Tuesday at 19:00 GMT, and “The Pete Feenstra Feature” on Sundays at 19:00.

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