Jet Market - Sparks Against Darkness (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Jet Market

Sparks Against Darkness (2011)

No Reason Records

Sometimes it's difficult for me to comprehend how styles, trends, etc. of music travel across the world these days. No, I'm not a Luddite, nor do I underestimate the work of the Internet, but there is something in me that still enjoys remembering my teenage years when tape trading and sending off foreign currency in the hope that you might get a record in return were how music "traveled". Yes, and of course the mighty publications like MRR and Flipside, alongside a myriad of fanzines, where reviews and interviews were pored over in an attempt to find word of a new band to seek out.

Why the preamble? Well, I remember when I first read about Thrice, back in 2000 (with my teenage years a distant memory). I ordered Identity Crisis, it eventually arrived and I was quite taken by it. Listening to Jet Market 11 years down the line, it's obvious to see that the Americans have had an influence that has stretched at least as far as Italy here. I know it's not surprising but it got me thinking about how well music can travel. Here, the influence seems to have been almost adopted entirely as Jet Market has produced an album (their fourth) in which the overriding feel is of a massive dose of early Thrice, with some noticeable hints of A Wilhelm Scream but with a skate punk kind of pace to keep things racing along. As you will surmise, that means what you have here is punk played with a high level of technical proficiency, without it being overdone, along with a well-paced delivery that is infectious and invigorating.

It's not all about the same formula, though, as two songs clearly highlight that the band is willing and able to strip things down a bit. Both "You Can Always Make My Day" and "Hate Is Baggage" are songs that contain a clear and distinct message, without being in the same musical vein as the rest of the album. This doesn't break the flow of the record, more a case of it enhancing it with some well-appointed twists and turns.

I'd go so fact as saying that "You Can Always Make My Day" is my favorite track on the album, as it makes me consider those around me who do make a difference to my life. It's well played, well sung and even though I am always waiting for the big guitars to take over, it's never a disappointment when they don't.

This is a decent package with both the music and the album art being to my liking. If you like bands like Thric and AWS, and fancy hearing a similar sound that has the ability to be used in a skating video then this could be up your alley. The other key thing about Sparks Against Darkness is that it doesn't get stale with each listen--it has enough about it to make it a stayer, rather than one of those records you play half a dozen times and then forget. Jet Market has taken a number of influences and turned them into something of their own. Long may influences travel, by any means necessary, if it means we get albums like this one.