International Jetsetters – Heart Is Black EP


International Jetsetters - Heart Is Black EP

The band International Jetsetters takes off with a melodic 6-song EP that comes across as a more direct, clean take on Jesus And Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Ride for the guitar-based, indie rock song structure and style, and Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine for the dusky male and sweet female vocals.  Band members include Mark Crozer (who is also in the reformed Jesus And Mary Chain) on vocals and guitars, Bert Audubert on bass, Loz Colbert (also in the reformed Jesus And Mary Chain and formerly in Ride) on drums, Paul Crozer on guitar, and Fi McFall on vocals. 

“Inside Out” canters by swiftly with an up-tempo pace of drums, distorted guitar burns, tambourine shake, and clear vocals from Mark, backed by Fi at times, where her plaintive vocals resemble Orinda Fink of Azure Ray and Art In Manila.  This number is short and brisk at under 3 minutes, but it lays down the groundwork for what will hopefully be showcased on an up-coming album.  “Inside Yourself” continues the quick pace with driving, angular guitars, a running bass line, drums, and a whole lot of cymbals on the chorus.  The sound is darker and sleeker than the intro, with Mark’s twinned vocal lines on the chorus, one shadowing the other in a higher range.

It’s all Fi on vocals for “My Redemption”, with a backing of steady, marching beat, bass rumble, and straightforward guitar.  Fi sings softly, but clearly on the verses, but then pushes her vocals to a higher range on the chorus, giving the tune emotional heft.  The hypnotic highlight “Heart Is Black” weaves a deeper drum beat, strummed acoustic guitar, and Mark’s darker, lower vocals that recall Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.  The song is low-key, but has an insidious pull, with a buzzing guitar line on the chorus that plays against a more limpid, The Cure-like guitar line and Mark’s cool and dispassionate vocals.

Interestingly, there are two versions of “Never Slows Down” on the EP, one that is placed in middle of the EP, and one that closes the run of songs.  The version in the middle is sung by Fi and starts off at a slow pace, with crisp drumming and guitars rolling in after the first couple of verses, as Fi sings “Love can change your life / but love can falter overnight.”  The drum beat and guitars keep the tempo pushing forward, so that even though the pace is slower, the song is not inert.  The guitars open up near the end of tune, with constant cymbal bash, Fi’s wordless vocals, and a sky-sweeping whoosh of sound. 

The other version of “Never Slows Down” is a demo sung by Mark in a medium to light tone that recalls Steve Kilbey of The Church.  Mark is accented by tambourine hits, wiry guitar strum, and reverberating organ-like notes.  The song lifts skyward on the chorus, with Mark emoting more than Fi does on the previous version of the song, as passages of calm make way for a more tumultuous and noisy ending, with ascending and descending guitar lines that bring to mind the heights of Slowdive.