Warbly Jets | Warbly Jets | Rating: 8.1/11
To be clear, the Los Angeles four piece Warbly Jets do not – in any way – warble, but there is something to the jets portion of the program: Samuel Shea (vox/guitar), Julien O’neill (keys), Justin Goings (drums) and Dan Gerbang (bass) come bearing propulsive grooves and an urgency bearing equal parts musical youth and roaring maturity.
Appreciate the fact that this debut album jumps off with “Alive” (their first official single) in all of its heady riffed/synth-laced clarion call, statement of fact glory and – perhaps next to the cosmic Stooges-esque “Shapeshifter” – the most linear song in terms of forthright rock and roll. From there, it’s the expansive and the exploratory embrace of things garage rock, Britpop and the shinier side of psychedelic all sonically folding over and into one another while having shit to say about life, potential, and even the music industry in the form of the pushy slink and fuzz of “The Lowdown.” While far from reinventing the rock wheel, Warbly Jets carve out a musical pastiche that’s as much an homage to the past as it is a sinewy flexing of what guitar-driven rock could be in the present when in the hands of those who steer clear of turning serious jams into a dreary affair. And for a band more than capable of ripping a racket in the live, it’s notable that – in recorded form – Warbly Jets present as an outfit much finer tuned than merely raucous, raging noisemakers with more guitar pedals than they know what to do with while knowing exactly what to do with them. Yeah, that’s a good thing.
Go ahead, band name-drop UK rock lions Oasis, Kasabian, Supergrass or the Verve if you must and you would be fully on point (you actually have to cite the Verve where “Getting Closer [Than I Ever Have]” is concerned and we’re not mad at that at all), but the various flavors get confidently shapeshifted into a hearty debut to the ears.