Josh and The Jet Noise | Photo Credit: Dustin Schneider
Review of The Sound Of Love Burning
By: Forrest Cook
Fans of Radiohead’s garage-y stuff may find a liking for Josh and the Jet Noise’s new album The Sound of Love Burning – just released February 21 at Main at South Side in Fort Worth. It’s a follow-up to their seven-track debut EP, Alright, which was released in February, last year. Both releases were recorded at Cloudland Recording Studios, and produced and engineered by Joe Tacke and Rebekah Elizabeth of Mean Motor Scooter. With this sophomore offering, Josh and the Jet Noise deliver a strong, tightly developed array of songs, with direct and intentional songwriting that cuts like a knife through loveless aether. It’s a great album, full of catchy aphorisms that garnish The Sound of Love Burning with an engaging appeal atop its general enjoyability.
Josh and The Jet Noise is Josh Reed on guitar and vox, Matt Thomas on bass and backing vocals, and Chris Grucza on drums. They’ve described the album, on the whole, as a meditation on the idea that “every relationship you’re in is the last one you’re in… until it’s not.” The songs detail a familiar path, from early infatuation, to falling in love. When passions wain and relationships turn sour, what you get is The Sound of Burning Love. “Eventually you heal and move on to start the cycle again.”
It opens with “Enigma”, a song that’s equal parts dancey and spaced out. “Enigma” is a representation of those first flirtatious interactions with your significant other – or a memoir to a time when the mysteries of love burned more subtly. Then, the flow of things starts to settle in nicely with the forebodingly titled “What Could Go Wrong”. Here, Josh and The Jet Noise has found a sound to grow into – modest, ascending, and eurythmic – it escalates to euphonious crashing and heavenly chorus, before sliding back down to earth in post-hardcore fashion with a temporal lead, whose simplicity may mask the phrase’s ethereal qualities, or vice versa. It’s a song about new beginnings and mending broken hearts. What could ever go wrong?
“Then I Met You” begins in two notes palm-muted separately, that somehow writhe in anticipation of the twangy bend to follow. It’s a bass-driven ballad where unfolding rhythm is held together by evaporating guitars and 70’s rock and roll style, high-hat and snare heavy drumming. It represents resignation in defeat. “Thought I knew love until I met you, then I met you… She can walk me to my grave.”
Which brings us to Track 4, “Am I Getting to You”. This is a fun one, and my favorite among the collection. I’m a sucker for those salty bass runs highlighted in verse one. Mix that with the seventh note blues fingerings displayed in the chorus by Reed, and the captivating pensiveness resolved in the song’s hook of “I know it’s true, I’m finally getting to you,” and you’ve got a banger to blast on repeat through those long, lonely hours spent dawdling with your headphones.
The Sound of Love Burning takes a step back with track 5, and the slightly more moody and developmental song, “On the Streets”. Of course, it may end up a hit single with the shoegaze crowd. What do I know? To credit, “On the Streets” does well for changing pace towards the grittier underbelly of side B, and the accompanying lyrics, “where strangers and shadows meet, we’ll take it out on the streets,” encompass relatable feelings of despondency, wrought out in two parties both clinging to the unattainable.
That grittier underbelly starts off with some skank action in a minor key on “Throwing Daggers”, and moves back into the heavier barroom blues influence, the likes of Black Keys, with “Break My Will”. Verbal stanzas maintain objective velocity throughout. An unexpected bass accompaniment from Thomas echoes Reed’s reflections of remissiveness and old haunting apparitions.
Josh and The Jet Noise at Main at Southside Fort Worth TX | Photo: Dustin Schneider
“Hold Back” is the final track on the The Sound of Burning Love. The matches are spent. The final nail’s in the coffin, and the candles are all burnt down to their wics. Here’s a song about not holding back on finalized cues, and the realization you’ve been a player in a tragedy all along. The song plays out in picked guitar chords, and a slow, ebbing rhythm that does justice to the dejection experienced when the merits of love go unrequited.
Josh and the Jet Noise have made a Facebook promise to get toes tapping and have a good time. The Sound of Burning Love satisfies both those requisites. It is definitely worth a spin, and time spent listening is time well spent. Catch the band live at all the usual haunts. Upcoming shows include March 19 @ Growl, March 21 @ Haltom Theatre, and April 3 @ M.A.S.S.