Jet By Day – The Vulture

Jet By Day
The Vulture

The Vulture is the third full-length from Southern rockers Jet By Day. This established quartet has had the privilege to play alongside Cursive, Braid, and Hey Mercedes. With song titles like “The Vulture” and “The Buzzard,” a desert-like vibe is approached on the album. The band plays a dark and desperate take on indie rock, but the result is only mildly interesting.

Starting off with a yawn is “In Remission,” essentially a two-minute synth introduction. This bleeds into the next track, but is thankfully replaced with actual music. “I Want to Hold Your Handgun” officially begins the actual rock, and the vocals sound amazingly earnest. Heavy guitars slowly churn behind the passionate singing, adding a decent amount of texture. There is a distinct lack of a memorable guitar hook on this song, and by the end I felt relieved it was over. I guess that means I’m going to have to add this to the filler department. The painfully repetitive “We’re Levitating” and vintage overkill on “Son’s of Privilege” are two further sources of blandness.

There are a couple really standout songs that do salvage the boring stuff. “O’ Salvation” has a catchy chord progression, some eerie fuzzed-out leads, and also a stuck-in-your-head vocal hook. “Paperweights” is an upbeat foray into dance-rock territory, with jumpy leads and a loud bass. The title track is probably the best candidate for a single, with its abundance of guitar activity and unharnessed energy (note the screaming at the end). “The Vulture” best displays the band’s classic rock influence, with guitar leads in excess. Finally, there’s one more notable highlight near the end. “Done Dressed Up” is a straight-forward, guns-ablazing rocker that should have ended the CD. Instead, Jet By Day closes with “The Buzzard,” a lengthy attempt at epic rock. It sounds like a boring The Life and Times song, which is exactly how those Midwesterners close their own EP (The Flat End of the Earth).

Because about half of these 11 tracks overshadow the rest, the rest simply remain mediocre songs. I can’t really see myself listening to this much down the road, so I can’t recommend it either. This could have been condensed into a much better release as a five-song EP. Unfortunately, they made it a full-length, and it’s full of filler.