British hard rockers JETTBLACK are back with their second album. While the debut was an OK release to me, let me tell you that “Raining Rock” is a giant step forward in the band’s sound, musicianship and of course, career. This new CD is packed full of late ’80s / early ’90s style of hard rock. The sleazy attitude (not in the terms of ‘glam’ but in the rockin’ side of it) ala Skid Row & Motley is still present, but this time the guys have expanded their horizons adding to their music – and on many songs here – a clear commercial Melodic Rock direction. And with excellent results.
Some rock fans may call Jettblack’s sound retro, but this group is easily as good as the bands that inspired them.
Immediately, “Less Torque, More Thrust” hits you in the jaw with a delicious jab of Americanized hard rock in the best Skid Row tradition, dirty and complete with cowbell.
An then we have the first surprise on the album… “Prison Of Love” is a unique and extremely catchy melodic hard rock tune brought back directly from the eighties. This is an awesome track full of the ‘magic’ atmosphere only achieved 22 years ago. Yes, this one seems composed and recorded in 1990. Fantastic sound!
Follower “System” is the same vein but less melodic and more aggressive, featuring an incendiary guitar solo and great metallic verses.”Black Gold” brings the first slow moment in the disc, and what a great one it is. This wonderful 7 minute mid-tempo has a terrific rockin’ consistent vibe, alternating acoustic and electric guitars with class.
With “Something About This Girl” the boys are in full swagger mode again in a song with a luscious riff, before delivering a fun and foot tapping melodious track with “Sunshine” – title says it all.
“Temptation” follows, a fist-in-the-air stadium rocker screaming for live performance. Somehow this track reminds me Germans Victory.
And now… Jettblack goes AOR / Melodic Rock. What? Yes, there’s no keyboards here, but the skeleton of this song is pure rockin’ AOR in the ’80s SHY mould. The melody is terrific, the chorus and backing vocals soar, and the climax kills you! My favorite track of the album, and a contender for the best of the year.
For my surprise, follower “In-Between Lovers” isn’t at full hard rock fire as expected after such melodic track. It’s a rocker yes, but a bit bluesy with some Badlands and Spread Eagle hints, wrapped with some Skid Row riffage as well.
“Side Of The Road” rocks dirty and in a good way, before the album comes to end with, again, a surprise: the ballad “The Sweet And The Brave” in the Mr. Big style! With more raspy vocals yes, but definitely a new territory for this band, and works wonderfully.
As bonus we have a cool version of “Raining Rock” featuring Udo Dirkschneider (Accept) on guest vocals, and the fun and catchy Americanized hard rocker “Weapon”, another great stomper with a late ’80s stamp on it.
Jettblack has really surprised me with “Raining Rock” – to be honest – it left me with my jaw dropped. This CD is packed with big, killer guitar riffs, catchy & fun lyrics, and music that will have you throwing your horns in the air in no time. The melodies, the attack, the unstoppable rhythm, the great vocals are terrific on this recording. Production is wonderful, they have achieved to obtain in the studio the magical eighties sounds like many bands try hard, but few obtain these days. You will be hard pressed to find a bad song on this album. It’s diverse, entertaining and fun as hell. Raining Rock” is, at this point, one of the albums of the year for me.
01 – Intro
02 – Raining Rock
03 – Less Torque, More Thrust
04 – Prison Of Love
05 – System
06 – Black Gold
07 – Something About This Girl
08 – Sunshine
09 – Temptation
10 – Never Gonna Give It Up
11 – In-Between Lovers
12 – Side Of The Road
13 – The Sweet And The Brave
14 – Raining Rock (feat. Udo Dirkschneider) [bonus track]
Will Stapleton – vocals, guitar
Jon Dow – vocals, guitar
Tom Wright – bass
Matt Oliver – drums
JETTBLACK – Raining Rock (2012)
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