Nashville bands mean business: Their music is typically played with heart and no pretense, and it’s usually accompanied by an obscene number of live shows. This no-frills approach spans numerous genres of late, from JEFF the Brotherhood’s two-man sound wall to PUJOL’s harsh growl. Straying from the harder rock spectrum, Denney and the Jets play boozy, bluesy rock ‘n roll with a twinge of country that will make you want to boogie. Their self-titled EP comprises five straightforward tunes meant to be played loud and live, preferably with a beer in hand.
Boozy as an adjective here doesn’t mean sloppy, as the band’s rollicking brand of rock and roll is tightly executed. Each slide of the guitar is controlled, with jangling keys delicately sprinkled in when the song merits a little extra flair. Opener “Fun Girls” sets the stage for the rest of the collection, a mid-tempo, guitar-based earworm. Denney and the Jets find a groove here, as four of the five tracks follow this bar-ready pattern, with “Blow Whistle Blow” being the strongest, upping the ante with subtly layered vocals on the chorus. “Paranoid” breaks the mold with its mellow demeanor and mandolin, but proves to be a weaker moment, as Chris Denney’s voice struggles to be drawn out quite that slowly.
Lyrically, Denney and the Jets samples the typical bar-rock fare, namely women, sex, and the problems resulting from the intersection of the two.”Fun Girl” details the world of oral pleasures, while “Paranoid” grapples with the distinction between “making love” and pure sex. Delivered with an endearing twang where “everything” becomes “everythang”, Denney’s tales of love are easy to identify with and even easier to sing along to.
At the end of the 19 minutes and the closing chords of “Close The Blinds”, the band’s Facebook bio comes to mind: “One warm night in July, an angel came to me and said, ‘There is nothing I can do for you. Nashville is dead and so is rock ‘n’ roll.'” But after a spin through Denney and the Jets, that sentiment has never sounded more untrue.
Essential Tracks: “Blow Whistle Blow”