Jettblack – Black Gold

4

Review by Brian McGowan

Spinefarm Records

You might think that recordings used up as either bonus tracks for Japan, magazine freebies, vinyl only exclusives or in other, similarly narrow-market ways might be the stuff that just never made the original cut. It’s the kind of thinking that has you looking at Black Gold with a jaundiced eye, and listening with a cynic’s ear. But not for long. Last year’s slightly disappointing Raining Rock album failed, marginally, to convert the promise of the debut (Get Your Hands Dirty) into the currency of true hard rock credibility. That said, ’Black Gold’ was one of the standouts tracks, and the more you listen to the song, the better it becomes. This re-recorded version is gilded by some elegantly-crafted axework from guest musician, Damon Johnson (Black Star Riders).

As the album unfolds, where you expect it to stumble (part 1) – a cover of Heart’s ‘Barracuda’, a cover of Motorhead’s ‘Name In vain’ – it soars, spinning each song into Jettblack’s accelerating orbit, finding traction, gaining momentum. The driving ‘Feel The Love’ and the anthemic ‘Weapon’ are absolute killers, with all the heat and energy of eighties and nineties hard rock compacted into two, four-minute blasts of eminently melodic music.

And again, where you might expect the album to stumble (part 2) – on four acoustic tracks – the energy continues unabated, controlled, evocative. New song ‘Red Horizon’ is a sharp piece of song-writing, crisply rendered, and ’Prison Of Love’, an AOR giant in a previous life, takes on a poetic, hymn-like texture. An outstanding song, no matter the arrangement. The original version of ‘Black Gold’ closes out the album, welling up like an oil fire in a crescendo of melodic hard rock hooks, finally translating the notion of end-cuts and out-takes into a magnificently coherent whole.

Jettblack Gold7 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. Black Gold (Edit)
  2. Feel The Love
  3. Weapon
  4. Fade Away
  5. Let Me Put My Love Into You
  6. Red Horizon (Acoustic)
  7. Barracuda
  8. Name In Vain
  9. War Between Us (Acoustic)
  10. Not Even Love (Acoustic)
  11. Sunshine (Acoustic)
  12. Prison Of Love (Acoustic)
  13. Black Gold (Full Version)

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. Love Jettblack ever since I saw them at the (now no longer in existence) MoHo Live in manchester a couple or 3 years ago. I might add that I wasn’t particularly disappointed with Raining Rock !

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