Here's a very strong hint: listen to the last three songs on The Voodoo Jets's sophomore effort From Greens to Eternity before you venture into the whole thing from the beginning. Why? Because the last three songs, I think, will give you a better understanding and appreciation of what The Voodoo Jets seek to accomplish: high energy power pop rock. The last two songs are energetic live versions of Big Black Machine Gun and Spaceman. These are preceded by a near speed punk version of the famous Motown hit, The Tears of a Clown. It appears from these cuts that The Voodoo Jets are a band best experienced live (and one to be reckoned with).
As for everything up to track 11, well, its all rather well-intentioned yet seemingly revisited 70's melodic rock. Considering the elan of the live tracks, I wonder if the Jets should have been allowed in the studio. While some songs attempt to kick, this is mostly mild, mellow, and generally 'un-rocking' stuff. It's as if somebody stole their mojo (hopefully not the same person who stole Obama's) or cut off their rock 'n' roll nuts before they entered the studio. The band sounds neutered of their fire. Vocalist, lyricist, and keyboard player Micah Sheveloff has real inspiration and authenticity (listen to Decades), but his songs and expression make him seem like a pent up rocker languishing in a West Coast straight-jacket.
Nevertheless, glimmers of genius rise from time to time, especially on the clever Welcome to the Real World and Decades where Sheveloff's lyrics make the music effective and lively. But then some songs are just weird, like the goofy Hotel and strange self-vision/reflection of Cartoon. The latter might summarize the nature of this album, but a 'caricature' may be the better adjective. From Greens to Eternity exaggerates, in parts, the essence of early melody rock, yet without turning it into a pitiful parody. The result is that the work is reliably uneven yet still hard to ignore for some of its inherent vitality.
At the end of the day, I'm not sure the studio version of The Voodoo Jets on From Greens to Eternity is the one that displays their real talent, or the one that you really want to know; certainly not one that displays their true soul and enthusiasm. If context is anything, The Voodoo Jets and these songs should be enjoyed live. I know my appreciation would probably be much greater.
At the end of the day, I'm not sure the studio version of The Voodoo Jets on From Greens to Eternity is the one that truly displays their real talent and enthusiasm, or the one you really want to know. If context is anything, these songs and The Voodoo Jets should be enjoyed live.
The first incarnation of First Signal featured significant vocalist Harry Hess (Harem Scarem, many others) and the multi-talent musician and producer Dennis Ward. Eerie echoes of the Harem Scarem sound permeated the self-titled album, and fans ate it up. Now Frontiers ... [ Read More ]