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EP Review: The Heavy Jets – Common Mantra

“The EP as a whole is a metaphor for being normal and true to yourself.”

That little line above, borrowed from the press pack which accompanied this EP is the main reason why I am reviewing the record. I hate anything superficial, and I think that music, and rock music in particular has moved away from its roots, it’s putting up a respectable front in place of its raw, untamed energy and these guys feel exactly the same way. How the hell could I not review this record?

Hailing from Newcastle, The Heavy Jets are Rhys Breen (Vocals, guitar) Liam O’Brien (Guitar) Matt Johnson (Bass) and Scott McCall (Drums).  They won the Soundwave Music competition 2015 and Common Mantra is their brand new EP.

The thing that really hits you about this record is its back to basics approach. There’s a real rawness on display here, it feels natural, you can’t fake this kind of energy. Also clocking in at 4 songs and just over 13 minutes long there’s no pointless posturing or filler tracks either, it’s definitely a case of quality over quantity.

Common Mantra bursts into life with the break-neck drum roll which signals the arrival of opening track Drop. A brilliant grimy riff follows as the band launch themselves straight into Wolfmother-esque territory. From front to back this track just bangs. Thundering along at a frantic pace this is a mighty fine way to kick things off.

For Don’t Tell My Why the band winds in the pace a little, but the track still packs a mighty hard punch. The vocal from frontman Breen is characteristically energetic and rugged, qualities displayed in fantastic style during a monster chorus. A stomping drumbeat sets the tone early doors and the song just builds from there. As is said the hook is killer while the track has got a real kind of anthemic feel about it, and the guitar solo which leads things into the home stretch is a thing of beauty.

Penultimate track I’ve Been Away is a slightly more stripped back affair (At least initially) with more emphasis put on the song’s melody. All of this is interspersed with a great grungy guitar riff before (As always seems to be the case with these guys) they fly into another soaring chorus, a chorus which carries echoes of Neil Young in his prime.

The EP’S title track brings things to a close but trust me when I tell you that it’s not a record that goes quietly. This is a real ‘spit and sawdust’ effort,’ I keep using the word ‘raw’ but that’s exactly what it is. I think the brilliant lines,

“Little lady on your knees, won’t be long till you catch a disease” and “A common girl with new found class, fucking diamond with a heart of glass”

Sum up the kind of song we’re dealing with here and I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s hard-hitting, back to basics, grimy rock and roll and I love it.

Common Mantra is such a brilliant listen. My only complaint is that there isn’t more of it. I’m a big fan of its back to basics approach and I love its energy. In a lot of ways this is exactly what rock and roll should be; big uncompromising tunes with mega choruses. I hadn’t heard of The Heavy Jets before reviewing this EP, but they are firmly on my radar now. A real jewel in the North East rock scene.

Common Mantra is released 26th October.

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