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Jet Red - 1989 Jet Red

ALBUM: Jet Red
LABEL: Music For Nations, Relativity
SERIAL: CDMFN 94, 88561-1001-2
YEAR: 1989


LINEUP: Willie Hines - lead vocals, guitars * Johnny Feikert - guitars, vocals * Brad Lang - bass, vocals * Billy Carmassi - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bad As Heaven * 02 Lonely * 03 Look In Your Eyes * 04 Not The Only One * 05 Outside * 06 Lolita * 07 Parlez-Vous Francais * 08 Let It Roll * 09 Take Me Tonight * 10 From The Skies

Pretty good line-up this one. Shame the record label shat all over this band! The key figure with this band is originator Willie Hines, who kick-started precedings as far back as 1984. Emanating from the Sacramento scene, Hines and his early version of Jet Red rubbed shoulders with the likes of City Kidd (who were to become Tesla), until such time as Hines and the band would move to San Francisco in 1986 to boost their career. The band played with numerous Bay Area melodic rockers, and had Ronnie Montrose's management behind them. In 1988, Jet Red recorded some demos, that even interested Gene Simmons in bringing the band to the fledgling Simmons Records label - an honour that eventually fall to House Of Lords. Bringing onboard a new manager, Jet Red then signed to Relativity Records - an unusual move considering the label's history with metal acts. The band recorded their debut with Brian Foraker, who according to Hines, only did a half-baked job in the studio, the band far from impressed with the overall flat production.

The Songs
Jet Red's sound is sort of in the same groove as Def Leppard, Babylon A.D and 9.0, though a bit lighter than all of them put together. I thought the opener 'Bad As Heave' was not the best opener. I remember when I bought this CD back in 1990 and heard this.. and thought 'what is this?' The Van Halen party flavour was a bit too 'in the face' for an opening track. 'Lonely' is much better, and definitely heads down the Leppard and Blue Tears path. 'Look In Your Eyes' drifts back toward the softer side of melodic rock, no doubt due to the subtle keys going on in the background. Their brand of commercial rock strikes home with 'Not The Only One'. It's much like the previous track, with those lovely keys holding the fort. 'Outside' sounds as if it has ideas stolen from fellow San Francisco based rockers Workforce. Hines opts for the David Coverdale influenced vocals on 'Lolita', a party rocker with a sassy edge. Just quite what these boys are doing fluffing around with schoolboy French on 'Parlez-Vous Francais' is a mystery. However it comes off sounding reasonable, despite the cheese factor. The band deliver a big swig of keyboards on the excellent 'Let It Roll', one of the better tracks here. 'Take Me Tonight' takes some interesting directions. The vocal choruses are huge, there's a definite 'pop' element on the pre-chorus, while the rest of the song is prime-time AOR/melodic rock in the vein of Warpdrive. The album ends with 'From The Skies', which could be a Winger track, due to its level of intensity, unusual musical flavour and shape-shifting elements.

In Summary
Released on Relativity Records in the USA, the album also saw a local release in the UK via Music For Nations. Unfortunately, due to Record Exec indifference at Relativity, the label did bugger all to support it. If there is a ever a reason to stay away from record labels, Jet Red probably has every excuse offered to them under the sun. By the early 1990's, the band had recorded a second album, but this remains unreleased to this day, though there are 'rough mixes' out there in the hard rock underground. A shame this band did't make it - they had some good material, one wonders if this had been placed in better hands (like a Kevin Elson or Richie Zito), who knows where this band could've ended up?

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#1 | YNGWIEVIKING on August 16 2008 07:52:17
It's another hidden jewel music
With 2 side on their music :
classy hair METAL like BONHAM/FIREHOUSE/HURRICANE struggling vs more classic aor like JOURNEY/BAD ENGLISH/FOREIGNER musicscore 8
#2 | super80boy on June 24 2017 15:46:24
I've had this CD for years, but recently found a nice vinyl copy. JET RED was a completely over-looked talent. They pivot from metal to hard rock to melodic rock effortlessly. 'Outside' has an infectious mid-tempo melody with the addition of ear pleasing guitar work, a standout. The brisk 'Let It Roll' is another top choice! The album ends with another killer cut in 'From The Skies', which delves into progressive leanings.

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