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Thursday, January 12, 2012

I usually write about Austin bands, but every once in a while I highlight the music of my beloved Washington, DC. The year is not even two weeks old and DC already has its first significant album release. The cityís best power trio, The Jet Age, have just put out Domestic Disturbances. This marks the third straight rock opera/concept record from the band. In 2008 they released What Did You Do During The War, Daddy?, a political album which the band describes as a "soundtrack to an imaginary musical." The next year they put out Love, which was a concept album about adultery, lust, and love (obviously).

Domestic Disturbances
actually seems like a natural extension of Love. Itís told from the viewpoint of a husband and the struggles within his marriage after a former lover enters his life again.  While the storyline may be a bit bleak at times, the music doesnít always mirror the depression or anger of the lyrics. Much of it is upbeat with billowing rhythms and scorching guitar. The Jet Age's usual classic rock foundation with a slew of other genres blended on top is also still in full force. A perfect example of their varied style is the opening track, I Am An Agent, which features a fuzzy guitar solo followed up by a monster drum solo. Each member of the band is an accomplished musician, but special mention goes out to the drummer Pete Nuwayser. The guy is a throwback to the days of John Bonham and Keith Moon.

Other standout tracks on the record are You Canít Turn Around, which features a Fugazi-like funk bassline and jangly guitars, and Change I Can Believe In. The latter is a not so subtle critique of the current President. The concepts of broken promises and disappointment fit into the rock opera story arc, but itís really just a fuck you to Obama for not fighting more for the causes that so many of his supporters cherish.

While the songs on Domestic Disturbances are about a wandering eye and possible adultery, the album is ultimately a romantics look at the peaks and valleys that occur in all relationships. The song progression paints a loving relationship that begins to falter with the reappearance of a past girlfriend. Things then almost completely fall apart, but true love pulls them back together. It may sound corny, but when you listen to the conversations, arguments, and pleadings in the lyrics, youíll relate to the couple and to their situation. Weíve all struggled in relationships, especially in marriages. They donít always work out but often times you realize, as the main character on this album does, that love isnít in the rear mirror. Itís usually right in front of you. Anyone who ever wondered about a past love, even while in a happy marriage or relationship, can identify with the themes on this record. We all wonder if the grass is really greener (usually itís not).

:The Jet Age - I Want You:

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