Jetscreamer – Starhead


I become more and more skeptical each time I hear about a new band with no bass player. This isn’t because I have a problem with any guitar/drum/vocal combos, but because there are so many of them out these days that finding the good ones is getting harder and harder. When I read that this bass-less band Jetscreamer is from Denton, Texas, I was fairly sure it was going to be an album I wouldn’t soon forget, though. Sure, not every band from the same area is going to be as good as the one before, but Denton seems to be producing some great music lately, and one of my favorites at the moment, Dixie Witch, call the same place home.
This two-guitar trio explodes from the very first track with a thick and heavy assault dubbed “Front Porch.” It’s immediately clear that Jetscreamer is not looking to be pinned down. While definitely rock oriented, the band takes stabs at the blues, swampy southern, and punk while hinting of rockabilly, psychedelia, and other assorted styles. The myriad of influences is merely the basis of what Jetscreamer is as the guitars take center stage with tons of feedback, down tuning, and metal slides that move from droning to gritty to dissonant whirrs.
“Black Hole” has more of a traditional blues feel while still pounding away at your eardrums with abandon and lyrics about “firing shots from the grassy knoll” and all the “wives in my compound.” “Vampire Grrl” slows the album’s pace down to molasses speed with its hypnotic drone that will certainly please stoner-rock fans. Must-hear picks for Starhead are easily “Baby Boy” because it sounds as though it has been soaked in whiskey for days and “Bliss,” the nearly 11-minute instrumental of wandering soundscape.
The only complaint about Starhead is that there are only nine tracks – you still get a lot of music, but I am left wanting more. For a debut album, though, Jetscreamer has a heck of a lot to be proud of. This is one trio that stands apart from the rest of the bass-less crowd and will likely be much more than a flash in the pan. Add into that an overall strong album with nary a boring moment in sight and you’ve got a great release. I’m not sure what it is about Denton, Texas, but I’m happy to add Jetscreamer to the list of great bands from the Lone Star State.