Jet Jaguar - "Free Space"
(Aktivator Records 2002, AKTIVATOR 4)
From Aural Innovations #22 (January 2003)
Attention fans of Chrome, Pressurehed and....... Hawkwind!!! Jet Jaguar hail from New Mexico and play a kick ass brand of heavy driving SPACE ROCK. Hot on the heels of their Retrofit! CDEP released earlier in 2002, Free Space is a full length set of 12 songs, 9 of which are new and 3 that are remixed tracks from the earlier release. The band is a trio consisting of Charles Van de Kree on vocals, guitars, synthesizers, electronics and tapes, Rob Nezzer on bass and guitars, and Roland Thoms on drums and sax.
I can't imagine a band being more purely space rock than Jet Jaguar. Hell, even the CD cover is Hawkwind influenced. And the songs and lyrics are excellent. I mean, how can you not love words like, "I'm strapped into the cockpit, she's set for autodrive. I can disengage the mindlink, and watch the stars fly by". Calvert era Hawkwind seems to be the strongest influence, with "Ejection" and "The Right Stuff" stylings pervading throughout, though the music has a raunchy Chrome and robotic Pressurehed feel to it. Heavy guitars, bubbling and soaring space synths, mechanoid freaked out vocals... it's all here. I think my favorites are the back-to-back "The Emissary" and "I.C.U." tracks, the former being a mind-bending intro to "I.C.U." which has a potent "Assault & Battery" feel to it. And to top things off we've got a rawking cover of "Orgone Accumulator".
Yup, this is indeed a tasty set and highest recommendation to Hawkwind fans. But these guys aren't mere clones. The influences are obvious but varied and the songs are excellent! Scattered Planets would be the perfect pairing with these guys for a tour. Play it LOUD! HIGHEST recommendation!
For more information you can email Jet Jaguar at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact via snail mail c/o Charles Van de Kree; 4800 San Mateo Ln NE #142; Albuquerque, NM 87109.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz