We Will Live the Space Age
(out of 5)
I sensed I would like Jetman Jet Team before I'd even heard their music. During a chance meeting with guitarist Brenan Chambers at the Living Room's shoegaze DJ night, Vapour Trail, we bonded over Japanese psychonauts Space Machine. Thankfully, Chambers's band turned out to be one of Seattle's most exciting current rock acts.
Chambers and guitarists Miguel Diaz and Tyler James had played in Spokane group the Pop Eccentric before moving to Seattle in 2011 and forming Jetman Jet Team with drummer Quin Dickinson, bassist Adam Breeden, and keyboardist Alex Nagy (James and vocalist Alisa Dickinson have since departed). They excel live, where their Dreamachine scatters hypnotic, strobe-lit shapes to the strains of their overdriven, interstellar rock flamboyancies. Each gig has marked another evolutionary leap in their development as a shoegaze/dream-pop unit that could also stun you by krautrocking outrageously.
Jetman Jet Team's debut album, We Will Live the Space Age, doesn't possess the wild abandon of their live shows, but it's aglow with sheer beauty and deft songcraft. Hazily indebted to elite British dream-weavers like My Bloody Valentine, Ride, and Lush, JJT put a Northwestern spin on shoegaze over 16 transportive tracks. Highlights? "Cosmic Age" captures the narcotic bliss of MBV in billowing midtempo mode, launching dense yet delicate guitar clouds and blurred, yearning vocals. "Deep Space" reveals JJT's ability to nestle ultrasweet melodies within lofty plumes of guitar radiation. "Corrosive" sounds like Can and Rhys Chatham carefreely chugging down the Autobahn.
A luscious addition to Seattle's sonic legacy, Space Age is endlessly hummable and coolly sidereal. But it sounds nothing like Space Machine.