The Jet Age ‘Destroy. Rebuild’ article was written by Jordan Davies, a GIGsoup contributor
‘Destroy. Rebuild’ is the 5th studio album by Washington D.C. based alt-rockers The Jet Age, and it was this reviewer’s introduction to the band. DC has a history of producing game-changers on the alternative music scene, and it could be said that The Jet Age are no exception. It is rare to find an album without a weak link in the chain of songs, but ‘Destroy. Rebuild’ delivers on this front. It is a record which embodies the notion of all killer, no filler. Filled with social commentary and centred around themes of politics and philosophy, love and divorce, cynicism and optimism, this is an album which is truly relevant in its own time, yet timeless in its own right.
From the opening track, we are presented with just about as rich a sound as a three piece can produce. Greg Bennett’s bass tone and feel are reminiscent of Mike Watt during his Minutemen days, although with a more reigned-in approach. Combine this with the pounding metronomic drumming of Pete Nuwayser, and the recipe for a solid rhythm section is born.
These two elements merge to form the perfect complimentary backdrop for the swirling Fender-esque cleans and subtle delays of Eric Tischler’s guitar work. Tischler’s vocal style possesses the conviction of Tom Petty, yet the fragility of Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, and his tasteful use of tremolo and octave pedals is reminiscent of Joshua Tree era U2, before the Edge went a bit wild with digital effects. ‘Destroy. Rebuild’ projects a tight, mature sound, representative of a band with just the right amount of everything in just the right places.
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An album more thematically grounded than previous efforts such as ‘In “Love”,’ the concept of yin and yang seems to be a recurring motif within this record. The music has a cheerful vibe, while the lyrics are more melancholic and introspective. Quiet, mellow verses meet soaring and melodic choruses, and Tischler’s dissonant yet sweet chord structures on tracks such as ‘The World is Big’ hold within them this dichotomy of ideas. Arty without pretension, ‘Destroy. Rebuild’ is a contemporary marriage of the archetypical tension associated with Washington DC, and the glass-half-full hopefulness of the American spirit. This in itself is perhaps a metaphor for the city of DC, making the album a true product of its environment.
In summation, if you want to know what it sounds like when Dinosaur Jr. meets Husker Du in the car park of a My Bloody Valentine gig, buy this album. ‘Destroy. Rebuild’ is fast becoming the staple listening on long walks and train journeys, and you can be certain it will have the same effect on you after the first play-through. This is about to be the soundtrack to the last half of your 2015.
‘Destroy. Rebuild’ is out now via Sonic Boomerang Records.