Our Take: Catchy Pop Meets ’60s Brit Rock on Warbly Jets’ Debut

Warbly Jets © Moni Haworth
Warbly Jets © Moni Haworth

Alexandra's Take

Warbly Jets are at the pinnacle of the most infectious brand of pop meshed with rock and roll. With a look to match their sound, there is no stopping the quartet from soaring.

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Warbly Jets are a new and promising power rock band based in LA: They emerged onto the scene with plenty of press and a number of tours before they had released an album, everything happening within what seemed like the blink of an eye. Luckily, Warbly Jets are finished teasing us with mere singles: The group released their debut, self-titled album last Friday (10/23/2017 via Rebel Union Recordings), and it’s time to celebrate.

Warbly Jets - Warbly Jets
Warbly Jets – Warbly Jets

With an immense amount of accessibility for the music of generations past, bands tend to draw influence from a number of different musicians from a multitude of decades long before computers were invented. Warbly Jets have proven that they are a brutally talented, contemporary rock group that is rooted in music from previous eras, like The Rolling Stones, Nirvana, and David Bowie. Each individual track on the record has a uniqueness that showcases the impact of what shaped the band’s musicianship, but still there is a fluidity from song to song that is undeniably impressive for a debut LP.

The band’s first single, “Alive,” was premiered back in 2016 and it is also strategically the opening track on the record. This is the best display of the group’s individual abilities and it happens to be the most powerful, anthemic song throughout the entirety of the album. “Alive” is the hook, line, and sinker. An infectious drum beat starts the song off with the riveting crash of the electric guitar. Soon thereafter Samuel Shea bellows out, “I’m biding my time at the end of the line, no compromise in sight, so I’ll walk through the fire, break through the binds to find my desire, but I’m slipping back again.” The song itself seems to be a reflection of their musical journey. As if they had been scratching their way to the top, hurdling over the many obstacles they had faced along the way, only to be broken down, and then with feverish determination getting back up and diving further for their dreams again. A psychedelic-esk synth part played by Julien O’Neill leads out of the breakdown of the song and into Shea’s final claim:

It’s a dizzy dive but I’ll survive
this noise around me grows louder
I’ve been up and down
but now I’m fine
I know this time I’m alive

Watch: “Alive” – Warbly Jets

The Lowdown” has easily one of the catchiest bass lines on an album in 2017. “RIDE” is reminiscent of a Temples tune, but finds it’s footing in the bubbly, echoed synth part that continuously hollows out the background of the song. The elevator music breakdown is an especially pleasant surprise. The song itself morphs from one end of the musical spectrum to the next. “RIDE” is definitely the grooviest, most diverse track on the album. Shea’s vocals on “Shapeshifter” are drenched in reverb, giving an Alex Maas circa Passover vibe. “Keep Pushin” boasts soulful female melodies to embellish a gospel feel.

Warbly Jets © Moni Haworth
Warbly Jets © Moni Haworth

At its worst, Warbly Jets feels repetitive through some tracks once you’ve reached the midway mark. The Who era of classic rock regurgitated in some barely new way is nothing we all haven’t heard before. It’s a forever flailing attempt at doing something totally cool, but missing the mark. “4th Coming Bomb” recourses the album back on track with a glittery ’90s backdrop. “Getting Closer (Than I Ever Have)” closes out the self-titled debut as strong as it began: The string instruments are a soothing touch to sleepily draw away from the energy that the album consistently expelled. Shea sings, “Then it feels right cuz’ I’m getting closer than I ever have.” Warbly Jets are certainly getting closer to superstardom. This is a band that wouldn’t shock one to witness in a stadium a year from now.

The beauty of catching a Warbly Jets show today is being able to see such an energetic band in a small setting. I would recommend seeing this band live before they hit it big (and then again after they reach peak success). After the release of their album, there may be no telling how far and how fast this machine will go: Warbly Jets are at the pinnacle of the most infectious brand of pop meshed with rock and roll. With a look to match their sound, there is no stopping the quartet from soaring far beyond human reaches.

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Warbly Jets - Warbly Jets

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cover © Moni Haworth

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