Aaahhh, the inevitable classification of rock music that comes the minute the album hits the shelves. Although criticism can be one of the more annoying things about music, it is nevertheless, essential. I'll admit to participating in it quite often, but I guess that's what happens when I spend all my money at record stores.
Recently, I sat down to listen to Jettingham's self-titled release and, being the criticism whore that I mentioned earlier, filed it under "Blink 182ish" sounding bands; minus any real punk rock soul.
The lyrics are fairly simple and contrived at best with Dave Schmoekel's whiny vocals bouncing up and down within each song. "If you want me to spell it out/you ripped my heart out." Yes, most of the band's songs involve pining for girls or singing about parties, yet that may be Jettingham's purpose.
They certainly aren't making any statements which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Rock music shouldn't force listeners to think about changing the world after every song. After all, I don't sit around and have soulful, insightful, conversations with world-renowned anthropologists after listening to every new CD.
Most of the twelve tracks are short with the album clocking in at around thirty-eight minutes, after which I found it hard to remember when one ended and another began. I did find myself nodding my head a few times as I listened through the album, which is a good sign.
One thing is clear about Jettingham: the target audience is kids right around those golden high-school years. The sound of their riffs, pauses and homecoming dance anthems are a few clues that gave that one away. In "Hardcore," Schmoekel gives a tough guy diss that might be heard in a local high school hallway near you. "You want to fight me that's fine / you'll kick my ass and that's fine / I'll walk away yeah that's fine / but I'll get all your women anyway."
The tracks that stand out are "Good Life," a little ditty about enjoying life that starts the album off, and "Enjoy," referring to one fifth of a boy band. A few songs even slow down a little giving them a ska-sounding rhythm perfect for keg parties everywhere.
Jettingham's just four guys having fun and not trying to be anything they're not. No pretension here, just snappy pop-punk. Although Jettingham won't be changing the face of rock anytime soon, I could see them finding their way into some CD wallets based on their top 40 make-up. Hey, they might even be hanging out with Carson Daly on TRL wedged in between the new Limp Bizkit and Destiny's Child songs.
Their youthful sound is catchy enough to garner some interest. This album is as fun as toilet papering a neighbor's house or skipping school to skate. C'mon, who takes music seriously anyway (mmm, yes, sarcasm).
Oh, and as far as that classification thing I mentioned earlier; Jettingham is one of those bands to listen to in the summertime, driving around on a Saturday afternoon, on the way to a party. Don't you just love these rock categories.....