UnRated Magazine


Music ArchivesMusic Archives

Jet Black Stare - In This Life

Island Records - July 15, 2008

by Jackie Lee King

Looking into the vast great white north (Vancouver Canada) the band Jet Black Stare come into view with its debut CD titled In This Life.

The bands name is homage to a badass photo of Johnny Cash that embraces the darkness we all possess. In that space we truly see what kind of a person we are, and know that there is more to life than just existing.

The opening song Ready To Roll is a chaotic thrill ride that feels like a Quentin Tarantino film. It is a wake up call to take up this life and experience it for all its worth. The lyrics pay homage to Steppenwolf's to Born To Be Wild, which the group also plays live at their concerts. Its relentless rock pace seizes you by the jugular and presses adrenaline into your system. Driving fast in your car may be a side effect of listening to this band.

Not many people are willing to die for their art, but lead singer Rod Black has, twice. In the emotionally charged, I'm Breathing, you really get the sense of Black coming out of his alcohol induced coma and how it changed him.

"And I'm now I'm lying on the floor and I really need to find the answer. Lying on the floor cause I've given every piece of me. And I'm breathing."

Then a few weeks later, he was in a near fatal car crash. I guess his guardian angel returned its own Jet Black Stare. The follow up song, In This Life challenges that apathetic view of throwing it all away. Its message is to keep the ones you love around you and don't run away from the difficulties in this life.

Other CD Highlights include Poster Princess and The River that sort though the dichotomy of life. Who knows, maybe you could go home with a stripper, have a better job, or just rock out with your own band.

The CD is thunder and lighting channeled into melodic riffs and compelling lyrics that inspire as well. Look into the void of the Jet Black Stare, and discover who you really are and what is important, In This Life.