Four Cornered Night
follow-up to the Jets' Jade Tree debut is standard pop-rock muzak, an
unsuccessful stab at tunefulness. Most of the time, former Jawbreaker
honcho Blake Schwarzenbach sounds like a bored Chris Mars or feckless Ray
Davies, while the rest of the band (made up of former members of Van Pelt,
Handsome and Texas is the Reason) pretty much phones in the accompaniment.
You know the band has traveled far from its post-punk roots when the
highlight is a twangy, two-steppin' ballad ("Empty Picture
Frame"). "Little Light," with its understated keyboards and
low-key shimmer guitar, is The Reivers without the hooks. "Mid-Day
Anonymous" sounds like "Cut Your Hair"-era Pavement.
Meanwhile, "Your X-Rays" and "Milk & Apples" wanna
rock, but end up sounding as if recorded under water or under sedation. In
their effort to be tuneful, Jets to Brazil have managed to drain whatever
life they had left out of a band whose whole was never as good as where
their parts came from.
Published in The Omaha Weekly Aug. 24, 2000. Copyright ©
2000 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.