The Jet Age - What Did You Do During The War, Daddy?
A concept album? Not in the classic sense. The Jet Age, being a fast riser in the indie scene, probably took a great deal of time considering what direction to take their sophomore effort in. The whole concept of concept records, to the untrained ear, should mostly be cultivated from albums like The Who's "Tommy" or Pink Floyd's "The Wall"; overly bombastic and explainatory, almost a picture novel within a disc. Usually two discs. Jet Age attempt to push those preconceptions into 35 minutes, using a jangly Who-esque bareboned rock sound, heavily infused with punk tempos and arena-rock hooks. The results, while not breathtaking, prove that old and new can merge into terrific things.
The concept itself is a little shaky; average American w/family questions his role, his ability to protect what he feels he owns, and his place in the world in general. He questions his government in obscure ways, the lyrics convey that and so much more. The reason I say shaky? Because of this American's eventual course of action; suicide bombing. This concept is very loose, as well; you wouldn't be able to tell the story with just the lyrics, and the promo material is the only reason why I think this is a concept record. To be honest, it's just a collection of terrificly played, straight-forward rock songs. The drummer sounds as if he's conjured Keith Moon's spirit, with spastic yet fitting fills dominating his timekeeping. The riffs are catchy, the hooks sharpened to a fine point. The bass is constantly in the picture, hyper-melodic and I can tell the bassist is a punk music fan, or he used to play in a punk band. I can't say I have any favorite songs; WDYDDTWD comes off more as a continuous piece than individual songs, to me anyway. The ruckus of "Dance", shoe-gazer soul of "Now We Are Three", and the intense drumwork of "Dumb" do manage to stand out.
There's nothing too bad about the album, but it's not as good as I've seen some give it credit for. Sure, it's refreshing to hear no-frills rock the way it was originally intended to be played, but are The Jet Age retreading old ground or making their own way? Nods to the influences aside, I think they need one more album to flesh it all out and make a true impact. But there is plenty to like about "What Did You Do During The Way, Daddy?"
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