RETROROCK – JET

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Shine On (N Cester) and Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (N Cester/ C Cester/ C Muncey) – Jet 2006

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Jet’s second album, Shine On, was delayed because of family grief, ill health, drug abuse, and writer’s block, and the much-awaited follow up to their stunningly successful debut album, Get Born, did not arrive until three years later. In 2004 the Cester brothers father John (above centre ) succumbed to cancer, he had been the inspiration for a bitter and accusatory song, Look What You’ve Done, on Get Born, due to infidelity in his marriage with the brothers’ mother Helen Cester. But his death inspired Nic Cester to write the album’s title track,  channeling his late father in a tribute to him on behalf of his mother and siblings “So many times I’d planned/ To be much more than who I am/ And if I let you down I will follow you ‘round until you understand”.

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The band had relocated to the Bahamas with producer Dave Sardy to create the album, but with the four million-seller debut album funding a new rock and roll lifestyle, drug abuse sapped the band’s creative energy, Nic Cester had acquired a new palatial home near Lake Como (Italy), and in 2006 he was diagnosed with vocal nodules and unable to sing, forcing the band to re-schedule a number of recording and tour dates. This tribute song was not the only moment of tender balladry on the album, other songs including the Beatles-influenced Bring It On Back, King’s Horses, and Eleanor, an acoustic homage to the Everly Brothers, all reflected the more sophisticated, sensitive and graceful, dimension of Jet’s music.

But there were also the more familiar sounds of energetic rock, the AC/DC inspired guitar chords and hammering rush of drums of That’s All Lies, the thumping strut and paisley-guitar chimes of Come On, Come On, while the high-powered riffing of Stand Up and Rip It Up, were all worthy additions to Jet’s arsenal of ballsy, rough trade rock.

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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, was the third song lifted off Shine On and it’s lineage can be traced directly to Get Born’s, Are You Gonna Be My Girl, as singer -guitarist Nic Cester barks and bawls like an improbable amalgam of Bon Scott and Axl Rose, as he banters with the object of his affection, in a I’ll show you mine, if you show me your’s kind- of- a- way, AC/DC couldn’t have been more explicitly carnal “ She’s a loaded gun/ In my shakin’ hands/ Am I in hell/ Or the promised land.” Cester’s keening high-pitched falsetto vocals are contrasted with the visceral attack of the rhythm section featuring cowbell highlights, while Cam Muncey delivered resonant fuzztone guitar chords, and in under three minutes Jet reminded us how good they are when they shift into high gear, and deliver riff-heavy four-on-the-floor vintage rock and roll.

The video for the song depicts the band performing in a room with a retro look to the film, including crackles and projection jerks, which intensify with the chorus, the song charted #14 in Aust, #6 in Canada, #14 USA, and #23 UK, the album Shine On was also a solid hit climbing to #3 Aust, #16 USA, #13 UK and #35 NZ for sales in excess of 500,000.

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The group would take their third album Shaka Rock (#6 in 09) into the charts but disband in 2012, they would then reform again, and were the support act for Bruce Springsteen in 2016, on his most recent Australian tour.

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