Jettblack: Disguises

Ambitious South East hard rockers get stuck in rut

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Via two previous albums, High Wycombe’s own Jettblack left us in no doubt of their hard-rocking credentials – both onstage and in the studio.

However, they’ve been on the verge of a breakthrough for the last five years and as the band’s first product for a new home of Cherry Red Records, Disguises must represent the last realistic hope of a push towards the big time.

It sees them toiling with customary bare-chested, hard-riffing retro-rock grit, fuelled as ever by the twin-axe histrionics of Will Stapleton and John Dow, though sadly if it’s a tangible improvement in quality that you’re after, on this occasion Jettblack are found wanting.

Their sound mostly retains its mix of Whitesnake, Dokken and Judas Priest nuances and the album includes some creditable tracks, though a mere handful – Explode and Kick In The Teeth, for example – are anywhere near as memorable as golden oldies Raining Rock, Get Your Hands Dirty or Two Hot Girls. Indeed, Evidence, Black And White and Enemy all sound tepid by past standards./o:p

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.