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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Jet By Day
The Vulture
Future Farmer Recordings

Rating: 8/10 ?

June 27, 2005
If you were one of the many cynics who thought that …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead's latest offering was an ambitious, awkward mess, then Jet By Day's third album will surely offend, but hopefully inspire others. No matter how you look at it, The Vulture is rife with a big sound that captures the essence of their last record, Cascadia, but shows that Jet By Day have grown into mature songsmiths, adding more melody to their madness, a more confident assertion to their assault, and even bigger ideas than their previous records.

Even though it would be tough to compare the sound between both bands, the similarities to their current endeavors have been paved by a coinciding outcome. Although Jet By Day aren't as established as …TOD, the band has shown such a maturation since the humble beginning of The Feedback That Distracts Us, and much like Worlds Apart, The Vulture feeds off ambition; the concepts for song arrangements show a cognitive weight and are executed with a fine, intricate design that could probably come across as an overbearing sense of self-worth.

However, Jet By Day's music isn't so easy to dissect. Their combination of metal, punk, indie rock, and new wave infusion certainly sounds familiar, but the execution of their song arrangements show a more intellectual depth and complexity than what most current underground bands possess.

The biggest and most notable difference of Jet By Day is that they know how to bring the rock (and I don't mean in a fashionable "dance punk-new wave revival" way). One can almost overhear a rant, "Fuck Axl and his forgoing Chinese Democracy" - it rings true in their sound.

The opening song, "In Remission", certainly draws from a dramatic form with swirling keyboards soiled in feedback and no noticeable desertion of any sort of song arrangement; it transforms into the second track, "I Wan to Hold You Handgun", and right away Dave Matysiak's voice has noticeably gone through a transformation - his pipes are clearer and more pleasing to the ear. While he still posses a rough growl, he sounds more confident. His passion is proudly presented as he shouts "Shake the devils hand." This first proper song unfolds at a rather slow pace, but its heavy guitars and large chorus offer some of the finest moments found on The Vulture.

Rooted in more of a punk rock terrain, "Meet Me in the Dark" and "Paperweights" both possess the distinctive urgency of previous Jet By Day albums, but with stronger songwriting and more memorable melodies. It seems guitarists Mason Brown along with Matysiak have incorporated a dynamic alliance in their dual guitar bouts, and at times their matched riffs are quite impressive. Taking cue from Thin Lizzy on more than one account, both songs show that Jet By Day are skilled in their understanding of not only the instruments they play, but the way they map out their song formations. Although both songs are impressive, the band doesn't seem to make imposingly pleasing sounds just to show their swank; a concentrated effort has been placed to stray away from any sort of tasteless meandering - a welcome fact that couldn't be said about their past albums.

Jet By Day show their true rock and roll colors on the title track, as they start by shouting "Goddamn" underneath an incongruous metal riff that shows the band's extraordinary desire for over-the-top self-indulgence. The ever-so-missed guitar solo is back, adding plenty of moderately unobtrusive lines that play off the supporting rhythm section, only to smash several minutes later with a tempo change broken by sudden attack. The song then chugs along with heavy metal madness as it carries an enduring predisposition of punk rock sensibility and concentrated melody.

"Sons of Privilege" mixes things up by incorporating a new wave keyboard jam; this isn't the first time Jet By Day have experimented with artificial sounds, but here it works especially well. The song is probably the least obvious of the album, with more concentration placed on effective arrangement of melody and structure.

Unfortunately, people are going to overlook The Vulture due to the fact its elevated songs don't particularly grab the listener on the first round. The appreciation levels certainly climb with multiple spins. Once it warms, The Vulture is rock and roll Mecca for those who adhere to big riffs and violent tendencies. It's a meshing of proverbial onslaughts and beautifully arranged familiarity, but it also possesses a creative diversity in the time-honored sense.

The fact of the matter is, Jet By Day possess a natural dynamic rooted in contemporary and classic rock, but due to their hard-rocking overtures and crescendo-building rock-outs, some will want to lump them in with less than tasteful emo territory which doesn't suit the band at all.

Jet By Day may not save rock n roll with The Vulture - they may never be on a major label or gain rightful respect or world domination - but they have created a smart rock album that will stand long after any sort of bandwagon or fashionable rock revival has perished.

Reviewed by Mark Taylor
A senior LAS staff writer, Mark Taylor is a 29 year old father of a 5 year old son and husband to a wife of 6 years, living the simple life in a small suburb of Charlotte, NC.

See other reviews by Mark Taylor



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