The Screaming Jets “Bitter Pill EP”

Growing up in the 90s, if you were into Aussie Rock, chances are you had a few cassettes in your collection like I did, and The Screaming Jets were among them. The Jets are true grit Aussie Rockers who have delivered classic albums, songs and live performances that have endured for over thirty years.

I was fortunate to see them live in the 90s and recently during a few tours that swung by my hometown of Adelaide. Years may have passed, but their songs still rock and the live performances are just as energetic as they have always been.

Here we are, nearing the end of 2020 and artists have found themselves stuck in one location with no gigs and time to spare. With that, we have all been treated to new and innovative ways of being entertained by the different branches of the performing arts.

With touring on hold and after many Zoomathons, the Jets decided to get creative, pay a visit to classic songs from the past and add a new gritty polish on them, which has resulted in the creation of an EP that is a tip of the hat to these staple Jets tunes: Helping Hand, Shivers, Friend of Mine, Sad Song and October Grey.

Helping Hand, is a soulful, easy on the ears version and if you listen closely, you can hear The Jets’ new drummer Cameron McGlinchey’s snare brushes telling their own story. Scott Kingman and Jimi Hocking’s guitars make inroads to the shuffle, while Paul Woseen’s bass keeps the rhythm in check. Dave Gleeson’s ‘Jedi’ vocals bind the lot together and, with added harmonies, provide a memorable version of this classic that is THE song you’ve been searching for during the madness that is 2020. I’m sure you will agree; this song speaks volumes about the current state of the world.

Shivers hails from the 1992 release, Tear of Thought, and has some of the most powerful lyrics that tell a story of love and how it can bring you to your knees. The guitar solo is an epic journey of melodic and emotional empathy that mirrors the lyrics.

October Grey. It’s easy enough to draw a comparison to its 1997 album title, Wold Gone Crazy & 2020. Once again, it is familiar up tempo number but played in a way that reminds me of an old scotch – it goes down smoothly.

”When I was ok, when I was sane…” Gleeson’s vocals break the ice in Sad Song, which is then driven by Woseen’s bass line. The breakdown is like you’re on your knees and the guitars are showing you the way out of a dark place. It is certainly one of my favourite tracks.

This ISO EP concludes with A Friend of Mine from the self-titled debut album. It is a respectful version of the original that speaks volumes about the human race and how we come together in times of need to lend a shoulder, sympathetic ear or five classic songs for fans that are looking for a sense of the familiar.

Do yourself a favour. Take a few minutes and let this music take control of your soul. You won’t regret it!

Album Review By Peter Pap

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