Let’s go back to February 1991.
The Screaming Jets released the single “Better” and two months later, their debut album “All For One” came out. Their sound is made up of an amalgamation of Australian acts like AC/DC, The Angels, INXS, The Choirboys and Cold Chisel, with a little bit of blues, a little bit of Classic Rock and Punk Rock thrown in. And it connected with the people of Oz.
Dave Gleeson always like to push censorship issues, and I remember when he appeared in the MTV Studios in Sydney for an interview, wearing a Metallica T Shirt with the “Metal Up Your Ass” design on it. The MTV guys weren’t too impressed and when he sat for the interview he had to strategically cover the offending images with his hands.
The group then relocated to the United Kingdom for over two years. The wanted to break into a European market first, before attempting their assault on the massive North American market. Doc McGhee was very keen to be the one to break them in the U.S
In the meantime, their youthful energy was getting them into trouble with other artists. The Divinyls wanted them off the Australian tour they were doing together, because lead singer Dave Gleeson insulted Chrissy Amphlett on stage, when he said, “Are you here for a rock and roll show or just a tasteful flash of the vag?”
Warrant copped it as well, when they turned up at a Club that the Jets were playing in Kings Cross, Sydney.
However Skid Row and Motley Crue liked the Jets and the Jets like them back.
As a warm up for their sophomore release, the label decided to release an EP called “Living in England” in June 1992. It included cover versions of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and AC/DC’s “Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire)” along the three album tracks. And we loved it. It wetted our appetite for more.
In October 1992, “Tear of Thought” dropped.
The band was unchanged with Dave Gleeson on vocals, Richard Lara on guitar, Grant Walmsley on guitar, Paul Woseen on bass guitar and Brad Heaney on drums. Continuing on from the debut album, bassist Paul Woseen and guitarist Grant Walmsley carried the bulk of the song writing.
And for some stupid reason the European release had a different cover.
No, it’s not an Aerosmith cover. Written by Paul Woseen, it’s got this U2 vibe to start off, with backward sounding guitar effects and delays while the drums and bass slowly build it up, until the whole band kicks in.
And suddenly it feels like a post pop punk cut with a nod to The Angels and a 12 bar blues solo that George Thorogood would be proud off.
Here I Go
The intro riff. Heavy fucking Metal.
Please play just to hear it.
The song is written by Paul Woseen and its one of my favorites.
Especially the last 80 seconds, when they go into the main intro riff, the ohhs and ahhs vocal chants begin, the tempo increases, a lead breaks out and the tempo keeps on increasing until chaos reigns and the song ends.
Written by guitarist Grant Walmsley.
It has a vibe from The Angels, but man, the verses sit in the LA Sunset Strip style of writing.
When the Chorus kicks in, it’s got that Albert Productions sound. Press play and enjoy.
Another Grant Walmsley cut which reminds me of Cold Chisel and The Angels, with a head banging rocking solo section.
Written by Paul Woseen, the songs music is rooted in the sounds of ACCA DACCA, however if you play the main riff with the distortion set to max, it sounds like it came from the fingertips of the NWOBHM bands.
Written by Paul Woseen, this song was the unexpected hit.
It’s got this Crime Noir feel in the verses almost jazz blues, but when the bluesy Chorus kicks in, its singalong and infectious, remaining with you long after its finished.
Written by Grant Walmsley and I feel like he channels Ian Moss from Cold Chisel with the main riff.
Living in England
Also written by Grant Walmsley, its two minutes of relentless punk speed metal power. It’s heavy and it has a Lemmy/Motorhead vibe all over it. I guess that’s what “Living In England” meant to them. You just become influenced by Lemmy. And Brad Heaney on drums is a powerhouse here.
Written by Paul Woseen it’s got an Alice Cooper “Only Women Bleed” feel with a lot of pub rock decadence. For a ballad, it’s not wimpy and it rocks hard.
Press play to hear what I mean, or you can watch the film clip on YouTube with all the surrealism images.
Best of You
Written by Paul Woseen, this song makes me think of other songs but I can’t remember what they are right now.
Written by Paul Woseen, its an attempt to do Fat Rich Cunt Part 2. George Thorogood would be proud.
Written by vocalist Dave Gleeson and guitarist Richard Lara.
The riff from Lara is excellent. The horns in the Pre-Chorus and Chorus enhance the song. Think “Tangled In The Web” from Lynch Mob.
Musically it’s a cross between The Angels, Bad Company and AC/DC.
Written by Grant Walmsley its channelling The Angels.
Sick and Tired
Written by Paul Woseen it’s got that jazzy rhythm and blues feel that you hear on “Helping Hand”.
Rowland Howard wrote a post punk masterpiece in the form of a ballad. For those that don’t know, it’s a cover from the band he was in called Boys Next Door who had Nick Cave as the vocalist for them.
The opening lyrics “I’ve been contemplating suicide / but it really doesn’t suit my style” immediately grab you by the throat and make you pay attention.
Written by Grant Walmsley, the album closer is a different cut, moving between a post punk mood at the start, to a ballad like mid-section, before picking up the fast post punk feel. .
In Australia, it received a Platinum certification and charted as high as 3 on the ARIA chart.
The group supported Ugly Kid Joe on their European tour in 1993, when Heaney was fired mid-tour as he thought that all the band members had turned gay and that the girlfriends they had were just decoys to trick him that they were not gay.
Heaney was temporarily replaced by ex-Judas Priest drummer Dave Holland until former BB Steal drummer Craig Rosevear became the permanent drummer in July 1993.
For those who don’t know, BB Steal were meant to be Australia’s Def Leppard. Singer Dave Gleeson wasn’t too impressed to hear that a hair band drummer was being considered, but after meeting and jamming with Rosevear, he changed his mind.
And that wouldn’t be the end of the changes. In January 1994, after a US tour backing Def Leppard ended, guitarist Richard Lara was replaced by Melbourne guitarist Jimi “The Human” Hocking (ex-Spectre 7).
And a new chapter was to begin.