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Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – The Screaming Jets

Here is the usual prologue.

My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August.

Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.

Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere.

So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.

The debut album “All for One” came out in April 1991. It went to Number 2 on the Australian charts and it was certified Gold in the Australian market.

But The Screaming Jets had some serious momentum coming into the album release.

They formed in January 1989, in Newcastle with singer Dave Gleeson, drummer Brad Heaney, guitarists Richard Lara and Grant Walmsley and bass guitarist Paul Woseen.

By November, they won the first ever National Band Competition run by radio broadcaster Triple J.

They released an EP in 1990 called “The Scorching Adventures of the Screaming Jets” and they toured with The Angels around Australia.

Australian rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, said that “All for One” included the flash of early Van Halen mixed with the traditional sounds of AC/DC and The Angels.

I reckon there is definitely a Kiss influence, some of the British blues rock influences and an overall punk like feel. Maybe that’s more from the production than anything.

The album kicks off with “C’Mon”.

A foot stomping AC/DC style groove with a ringing pedal point over the chords. This one is written by Lara and Gleeson.

I watch my TV screen, life flashing before me

Australians were pretty good at wasting their time in front of the silver screen during this period that advertisements were made to show the unhealthy aspect of our infatuation which they then made into TV commercials so we could notice em.

I hear the radio and the songs they play, makin’ my stomach turn

Once upon a time we had rock stations run by music fans and DJs who played deep cuts.

By the end of the 80s, the radio stations became corporations with investors and stock prices and suddenly it wasn’t about the music but profits and payola and playing the same songs over and over and over again.

I see the plastic people, leading plastic lives, Substitute child, disposable wife

Nothing much has changed. Fake people still lead fake lives. They just to glorify it with social media.

“Better” written by Walmsley is a stand out. The bands I was in the late 90s used to cover it.

They said you’d never get anywhere,
Well they don’t care and it’s just not fair
That you know, and I know better.

“Better” became like a national anthem in Australia. The whole groove of the song is infectious. It was the album’s lead single and it peaked at number 4 on the Australian Singles Chart.

“Needle” is written by the bassist Paul Woseen. It has a Dokken style riff with a punk vibe. It’s strange to write it as a description but it works.

The guitarists Lara and Walmsley took influences from everywhere but played the riffs in a loose swingy way.

“Shine On” is also written by Woseen and its a bluesy dirge like “The Jack” but lyrically it’s very different.

“Stop the World” is written by Woseen and Gleeson. The lead break from Richard Lara is worthy.

“Blue Sashes” has a feel from The Angels but the riff ideas feel like they came from the Sunset Strip.

“F.R.C.” (aka “Fat Rich Cunts”) is written by Woosen. It’s one of my favourites on the album.

You drive your fast car,
All over the town,
You got your offices up, 50 floors from the ground.
You hire your slaves to bid for you,
You’ve got a couple of wives and a mistress or two.
And I can’t wait to see you tumble and fall.

I worked as an insurance broker once upon a time. Most of the people around me had second or third marriages, partners on the side and a cocaine habit to match.

The ones further up the corporate ladder had us as slaves running errands for em. And I thought of this song.

You fat, fat, fat rich cunts.

The war cry. Because back in those times most of the people in power fitted those words. They were men who had weight issues.

It changed when the techies became the rockstars.

Following the album’s release, the group relocated to the UK where they based themselves for over two years.

They toured there, the rest of Europe and the US as they supported varied hard rock and heavy metal bands.

The band would release a lot more albums through the 90s and 2000’s. But that story is for a record vault post. Sometime in the future.

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4 thoughts on “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – The Screaming Jets

  1. These guys made a dent in N.A as I even know who they are so that right there is saying something! lol
    Check these guys on Apple Music now for sure.
    Watch the Mike Fraser Interview Pete. Lots of great rock talk. The stories about Page, EVH, Aero and Sykes and so much more are gold.

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