A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series: The Screaming Jets – Tear Of Thought

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.

Dream On

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.

Meet Anybody

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.

Alright

Another Grant Walmsley cut which reminds me of Cold Chisel and The Angels, with a head banging rocking solo section.

Night Child

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.

Helping Hand

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.

Everytime

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.

Think

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.

Rich Bitch

Written by Paul Woseen, its an attempt to do Fat Rich Cunt Part 2. George Thorogood would be proud.

Tunnel

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.

Hard Drugs

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”.

Shivers

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.

Feeble

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.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series: Screaming Jets – Living In England (EP)

They got their name from a Johnny Warman song called “Screaming Jets”. Peter Gabriel also appears on the song, delivering a haunting vocal. It was a hit in Australia and singer Dave Gleeson was singing it when the rest of the band said, “that’s it. That’s the band name”.

I saw The Screaming Jets live on Friday, July 29. They celebrated the 30 Year Anniversary of their debut album, “All For One” and played it in its entirety. You can read my review of that album here. I got tickets for the concert last year, when it was actually the 30th Year Anniversary, however due to the Delta wave and our third lockdown, the show was postponed.

All I can say is that bassist Paul Woosen is a beast on the groove. His bass rumbled and rocked at the gig, laying down the foundations for the rest of the band to roll.

But let’s go back in time here to 1992.

Following the “All For One” album release, the band relocated to the United Kingdom, which they called home for two and a bit years.

They remained unchanged from the debut album, with Dave Gleeson on vocals, Grant Walmsley and Richard Lara on guitars, Paul Woosen on bass and Brad Heaney on drums. But this would change once the album that carried these songs came out in October 1992. However that is for another post.

“Living in England” was released as an EP, in June 1992. The band was hot and still selling good numbers from their “All For One” album in Australia. So the label thought, why not make some extra cash by offering up an EP before the album “Train Of Thought” is released.

And I was all in.

I love this EP.

It’s got three original songs which would appear on the album, and cover versions of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and AC/DC’s “Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire)” which haven’t appeared anywhere else expect on this EP release.

Actually a live version of “Folsom Prison Blues” appeared on another EP in 2017.

Tunnel

Written by vocalist Dave Gleeson and guitarist Richard Lara.

The riff from Lara is excellent. And 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.

Meet Anybody

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. Then when the Chorus kicks in, it’s got that Albert Productions sound.

And you know which bands I am talking about when I mention Albert Productions.

There is this bridge section which reminds of how Vita Bratta plays. Press play and just enjoy.

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” means to them. You just become influenced by Lemmy. And Brad Heaney on drums is a powerhouse here.

Folsom Prison Blues

Written by the great Johnny Cash. It was my first time hearing this song and yes, it made me a fan of Johnny Cash. The Jets version can be labelled “speed country” if there is such a thing.

Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire)

Young, Young, Scott. Own any AC/DC album pre “Back In Black” and those were the names that you would see as songwriters.

They could have covered the bigger songs, but they selected an obscure album track and made it there’s, performing it live as well.

Crank it.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

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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