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American Jetset – Saloon Rock Whiskey Pop

American Jetset
Saloon Rock Whiskey Pop
by Mike McMahan at 14 July 2020, 1:53 AM

I wanted badly to like this record. I am a fan of Eighties Hair Metal and the Sunset Strip scene in general. I grew up on the stuff; from the days when QUIET RIOT and DEF LEPPARD were ruling the airwaves, all the way to GUNS N’ ROSES, TESLA and CINDERELLA…this music essentially fueled me from the time I was sixteen onward.

Having said that, I am always excited to hear someone is trying to breathe fire back into the style. Bands like Austria’s MADHOUSE have done it well; while others (shamefully) have taken the SPINAL TAP road of parody. When I read about this band initially, I had visions of another group dedicated to bringing the sound back. They are from Baltimore, MD, the hometown of KIX! Unfortunately, that is where my excitement ended.

“Saloon Rock Whiskey Pop” is the sophomore release from Baltimore’s AMERICAN JETSET. The record is more of an EP than a full-on album release, as it contains seven songs and checks in at a mere twenty minutes in length. The longest song on it is only three minutes and thirty-nine seconds long, and the opening instrumental piece, “Welcome To Devil’s Canyon”, is less than a minute. Musically, the band is proficient enough; seeming to have the guitar swagger and heavy, pounding rhythms in place. It is in the vocal delivery and songwriting that I was lost.

“Walking Contradiction” is the record’s second offering. It is a bluesy song, reminiscent perhaps of some of the stuff from CINDERELLA’s second album, “Long Cold Winter”, though not nearly as energetic as some of those tracks. The vocal work on this, and more than half of the remaining tracks, feels completely lifeless. There is something in MacGregor’s delivery that I just don’t buy; whether it is a complete lack of conviction in his material or something else, I’m uncertain.

There are a couple of moments here that I did not hate. “Getaway Car” has that country blues feel through and through, putting me in mind of some of the early seventies ROLLING STONES’ “country honk”. “1000 Ghosts” is an over the top rocker that all hands are on deck for, including MacGregor. His vocal delivery seems to fit this song perfectly. Other than these two tunes… it’s a miss - and kind of a mess.

Songwriting: 7
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 4
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Welcome To Devil’s Canyon
2. Walking Contradiction
3. Gold & Nines
4. One More Time Around
5. Getaway Car
6. 1000 Ghosts
7. Never Be Goodbye
Ian Kaine MacGregor – Vocals, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Lance Reeder – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Kevin Harrington – Bass, Backing Vocals
Jeff Bradford – Drums, Percussion
Christina Oliviero – Backing Vocals
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 05 February 2023

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