Founded in 1983, Jetboy first came to my attention with the brilliant and rocked up version of the Johnny Cash tune ‘Folsom Prison Blues’. How time flies, as we now have their ninth offering, Born To Fly, albeit after a wait of around twenty years. The current line-up features the two original guitarists Billy Rowe and Fernie Rod and longstanding cohort Mickey Finn on vocals and harmonica, alongside former Faster Pussycat bassist Eric Stacy and drummer Al Serrato. They have maintained their classic, blues based rock on this new album with echoes of the 1970’s flowing throughout, in a good way.
Opening with ‘Beating The Odds’ we get a song that could easily have been a Priest single with its riff and chorus. The twin guitars are effective with a quality solo that fits and doesn’t go all widdly. Title track ‘Born To Fly’ follows a similar tack but the blues influences are more apparent and it comes over as a heavier Def Leppard playing Bad Company. ‘The Way That You Move Me’ starts acoustic and it’s a Poisony ballad that is immediate and catchy. ‘Inspiration From Desperation’ is another catchy as hell rocker with a strong chorus and bluesy guitar interplay. ‘She’, mercifully isn’t that Charles Aznovoice song, but a melodic and heavy love song, of sorts. ‘A Little Bit Easy’ is my current favourite because of the snappy barred guitar intro and the riff and chorus that just pull you in; the lyrics may be a bit hedonistic but still fun and the solo is worth waiting for. ‘Smoky Ebony’ is delicious as it slides open before it develops into a very strong blues song. There’s another great chorus with a gospel feeling to the backing vocals. Final track, ‘Party Time!’ wraps it up with a mild AC/DC sound and is probably the weakest here with its formulaic riff and chorus, still fun though.
This is a very powerful album and puts Jetboy at the forefront of bands delivering this kind of rock. I enjoyed every single track and the song construction and execution is consistently high. It’s an album I will be returning to regularly.