Jet Market - The Reverse of the Medal (Cover Artwork)

Jet Market

The Reverse of the Medal (2006)


So there's one or two matters that need to be addressed before the review begins:

  1. Skatepunk is not dead in Europe by a long shot.
  2. The name of the band is the Italian translation of Apu's Kwik-E Mart from "The Simpsons."
Now that's sorted out, we shall begin.

Jet Market hail from Rome, the capital of Italy and have existed since 1998, however only under the name Jet Market since 2001; either way, they've been playing fast punk rock since. Over time, any band's sound matures (unless they suck) and Jet Market show real signs of maturity with The Reverse of the Medal, their third real release. The first release had fast skatepunk, the second blended it with more emotion and this latest is a real step up with the combination of skatepunk, hardcore, melodies, emotion and amazing technical music. People say the whole skatepunk thing is boring and that's why it died, but this is definitely the best release from a European band for some time in terms of originality and music. Jet Market's unique style and combination of other styles makes this album offer much more than the stereotyped fast, three-chord songs.

At first listen it may sound fairly bland but upon further inspection you discover how much this release contains. The vocals alone carry some of the greatest passion I've heard for a long time with group shouts to perfectly timed vocals one after another and flawless melodies with everyone at once. Each track seems to demonstrate something about Jet Market's talent; however, unlike many tech-punk bands it doesn't get boring or irritating or "anything you can do, I can do better." "Running with Scissors" took me several listens, mainly until I heard it with the rest of the album; however, the vocal work and ground covered is ridiculous but not in negative way whatsoever.

Skip a track to "Underground Sellouts" to hear the power the music carries without the vocals, particularly the bridge. It may sound simple but the passion and power conveyed is destructive, certainly a parallel to heavy machine gun-fire; however, their ability to settle it back down immediately after is the uniqueness of Jet Market -- they have such power through their music that no one can beat it.

The technicality cannot be missed, either, with "Money and Time"'s outro resembling Strung Out but not diverging from the basic hard punk rock sound. Each track averages around the 2.30-3.00 mark and, holds the ability to impress including JM's unique vocal power, speed and technicality.

Another bonus of this album is the track ordering, though this may sound stupid. Throw the tracks anywhere and this could be a serious let-down or at best, average. "Another Rainy Day for the Human Race" introduces the band's style, leading eventually to "Evolution Doesn't Necessarily Mean Stop Playing Skatepunk," playing straight-up skatepunk with a refusal to conform to the slow new fashion, then turning to a more hardcore, extremely passionate ending with "Bad Samaritans."

I find it difficult to really point fingers at this album anywhere because it is an album I've enjoyed like no other for a long time. Therefore, my only bad point would be it's limited this album for fans of punk rock. It's most likely just going to attract the people who enjoy(ed) skatepunk perhaps, people with a soft sport. However, to be honest, no band can accommodate the whole punk rock genre any more so it's a pointless point. Most bands trying to carry on the genre of skatepunk have generally failed (for me at least) by trying to become more and more technical and losing any flow, gradually turning into an art project/showing off session. Jet Market haven't fallen into that trap however, perhaps for their desire to play music they love for fun and for combining it with their hardcore and grind influences that many others wouldn't even go near. As "Evolution Doesn't Necessarily Mean Stop Playing Skatepunk"'s lyrics say:
Another year is passing by, another band is breaking up while the others get so fucking mature and slow down to fit in the industry standards; 'please don't count on us.' Well, I'm so sick and tired we don't give up / we'll just keeping adding fuel to the fire.
To hear samples off the album go here.