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Reviews of our 2008 full-length release
What Did You Do During The War, Daddy?
appear below. For older press, click [here].
February 29, 2008
by Chris Dahlen
The premise behind the Jet Age's heart-pounding rocker What Did You Do During the War, Daddy? sounds outlandish at first, although on record it's subtle: You wouldn't know what the story's really about unless you dug into the key lyrics and made a few leaps. Although this is staged as a concept album, it feels more like a 35-minute rush through the head of a man who's about to blow himself up. And by the way, that's the storyline: Eric Tischler has organized his latest songs around the story of a father and husband who, upset at the government and scared for the future of his family, becomes an American suicide bomber.
Tischler-- the singer, guitarist and writer of the album-- acknowledges his debt to Pete Townsend and the Who, and a story this emotional but outlandish could bring back memories of Quadrophenia or maybe Tommy. But the end result isn't bombastic or over-complicated; there are no instrumentals, soliloquies, or drawn-out explanations. Tischler's trio, which includes fiercely melodic bassist Greg Bennett and the Keith Moon-esque fills of Pete Nuwayser, works across the board better than on their fine debut, Breathless. In fact, if it didn't have stop for the shoegazing catharsis of the Bennett-co-penned "Now We Are Three", it would almost end too quickly.
The album is divided into three parts, where the protagonist-- who is not given a name-- meets a girl, marries her, and feels happy. But as he gets older and sires two kids, he grows frustrated with the country. Specific references to the Republican administration, Dick Cheney's promise to take us to "the dark side," or the mother of all sudden terrors, 9/11, are unnecessary, and Tischler doesn't use any of them; the real subject is the character's state of mind.
Anyone who's had a couple kids or owns even so much as a nice piece of furniture has probably, at some time, felt the fear that they can't protect any of it-- that while we're supposed to be adults with rights and protections, someday those protections could just vanish. Sleater-Kinney also aced this theme on their song, "Far Away", about how vulnerable you can feel for your kid all the way on the other side of the country from a terrorist attack. I'm not sure if the sentiment-- or the ferocious, taped-in-Tischler's-basement classic rock production-- speaks as deeply to younger rock fans who are in the "nothing left to lose" stage. But Tischler tries, with the falling-in-love rocker "O, Calendar". And all of the riffs are stellar.
Personally, the album's heart comes right in the middle, on "Dumb"-- an interior monologue from our hero, waiting out a long commute and mulling over his uselessness. He confesses he's scared to fight, but he's tired of accepting the "fear" and "shame": "this world gave you to me, it can take you away." This is fueled by the politics of the day, but the fear he nails is timeless.
Artist of the Day
February 27, 2008
by Sami Promisloff
What's the Deal? The D.C.-based band draw from the post-grunge inspiration of Sugar and Bob Mould while exploring challenging rhythms like the gleefully erratic Dismemberment Plan. Their latest effort, however, integrates the grandeur and cohesion of the classic rock concept album: What Did You Do During the War, Daddy? deconstructs the helplessness and anguish associated with citizens forced to sit idly by as the country spins out of control. With politically charged tunes like "I Said, 'Alright'" and "False Idols," and deep, personal anthems like "Now We Are Three" and "Ladies, Don't Cry Tonight" book-ending the album like a Broadway musical, Eric Tischler's vivid songwriting. Not bad for a band that's situated right in Bush's backyard.
Who? The Jet Age features Tischler (guitar/vox/keys), Greg Bennett (bass), and Pete Nuwayser (drums). Tischler and Bennett were former members of the acclaimed power-pop outfit Hurricane Lamps.
Fun Fact: Tischler received some precious outside help while orchestrating the album's opus, "Ladies, Don't Cry Tonight." He tells SPIN.com: "I wrote it while practicing with my other band, the Big Engines," he said. "That band consists of me and my four-year-old son, Dash."
March 6, 2008
by Jason MacNeil
The Jet Age have divided this album into three acts, which is a novel idea. Well, actually a theatrical idea now that I think about it. Regardless, the band is spot on when it comes to delectable power pop that has scads of guitar-driven rock riffs embedded deep within it. “Ladies, Don’t Cry Tonight” is such an example despite beginning rather lightly and folksy. Meanwhile, they don’t drop the ball or abate in intensity with “If I Had You Then I’d Still Want You Now” which brings to mind Ray Davies leading The Kinks in their heyday. The band, led by singer Eric Tischler, also come off smelling like roses with the percussion-heavy “Dance” that contains plenty of fills from drummer Pete Nuwayser. And fortunately, the second act is more of the same beginning with a delicious slice of indie-rock on “Shake” and followed up with the winding, Odds-ish “Dumb”. The consistency here is what makes The Jet Age soar, be it on the lengthy but alluring “False Idols”.
Unveiling Music: The Jet Age Interview
February 22, 2008
by Sean Kendall
Being political with music is so last natural disaster. So when we heard the three piece rock act The Jet Age decided to take on the government on their latest opus What Did You Do During the War, Daddy? we sighed and shuffled along. What we weren’t prepared for was an all our rocker album that ingeniously infuses a citizens call to action when he doesn’t agree with the government without being preachy. For the record: that’s tough. So we thought it best to sit down with lead Eric Tischler of The Jet Age to have him explain how he came up with a controversial idea (the main character plots an act of terrorism against his leaders) and how he controls those whaling solo needs.
Pensatos: How did the band start when you concocted The Jet Age?
Eric Tischler: When The Hurricane Lamps, my old band with Greg, wound down in 2004 I had a handful of songs that I really wanted to get out there. A friends of the Lamps, Dave Meyer, volunteered to play bass, and he brought with him the miraculous Pete Nuwayser on drums. When Dave moved to Colorado, I drafted Greg in time to finish writing the first record, Breathless.
What did you learn from your underrated release Breathless that you carried over when you entered the studio for a follow-up?
First off, God bless you. Creatively, I felt ready to do more in the way of “production”; backing vocals, keyboards, etcetera. On Breathless, I really wanted to introduce the band as a band, so I didn’t want to distract with a lot of bells and whistles. I wanted to present the performances as performances, and say, “This is what the three of us do together,” - although that record has its share of overdubs.
With What Did You Do During the War, Daddy? I felt like I was free to add things like the harmonies and handclaps on the bridge in ‘O, Calendar.’ Having said that, though, I still think our primary strength is as a three piece, so I don’t feel like a lot of additional production is necessarily flattering.
Technically, I made some great upgrades to my studio, and Greg and I both discovered G&L guitars just in time to make this record, and that made a huge difference.
However, coming off this record, I have a lot of new ideas for what I want to do for the next one. I really love the “live in the studio” vibe that I think I’m pretty adept at capturing, but I think I’m ready to apply a more hi-fi approach; something I’ve resisted ‘til now. Of course, I seem to say that after every album…
With What Did You Do… did you go into the studio with a plan to make a statement about the war?
Absolutely. I don’t write in the studio, but, by the time I’d written the first three songs, I had the plot of the record; the remaining songs were written to flesh out the theme(s) of the record.
The main character throughout the album can be viewed as either a terrorist or a revolutionist. Are his views yours as a band to some degree?
You’re absolutely right about the duality of the main character. His views are mine only insofar as his frustration is certainly informed by my own. However, I really want to make it clear that I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT ENDORSE BLOWING THINGS UP. AT ALL.
We wouldn’t think otherwise. Only crazed conspiracy right wing folk would suggest such in my book.
The story in this record affords me a venue to discuss this stuff and ask, “If not violence, then what?” And that’s not a rhetorical question. If marches on Washington are ignored, and democracy is in the hands of Diebold, what DO we have to do to fix things? I genuinely don’t know. It frightens the hell out of me.
We’ve got another election coming up and I’m afraid I don’t share the optimism of a lot of my friends. I think we have been conditioned to be scared (see the song ‘Dumb’) and I worry that we’re not out of the woods yet. In these very scary times, a lot of people are going to vote for the candidate that they consider to be safe. This is something the three of us have been talking about a lot lately, and I look forward to being proven wrong.
Your album is broken down like a play with acts. One of the underlined effects of the album is the almost jubilation sound of love in the first act to the creeping darker songs as it progresses into less cordial atmospheres on act two and three. Was this based off experience with your political views and a relationship?
Sort of, insofar as I’m crazy about my family and horrified by the state of our country. You’ve got the emotional trajectory dead on. The first act (the first batch of songs) is intended to establish a happy family, ideally so that, by the time the guy goes and gets himself killed, you understand why he did it (for love of his family), and how it impacts his family. The reason the album starts and ends with ‘Ladies, Don’t Cry Tonight’ is that it’s a widow’s lament. In its first iteration, it’s to establish that, in the background of the happy first act, there’s a war going on. At the end, it’s for the protagonist’s wife, who’s lost her husband.
The second act illustrates the father’s awakening to the reality that, while his home may be a happy place, his country is not, hence the darkening tone.
Christ, did I just say “hence the darkening tone”?
You did. You’re starting to sound like a panelist on Meet The Press. Just how tricky is it to make a political album without it being in-your-face or force-feeding beliefs and potentially alienating listeners?
Assuming I’ve done it (and thank you for implying that I have), the answer is “Very,” which is why I’ve never really done this before now. It’s taken me this long to find a vehicle I was comfortable with. ‘I Gave Up On Justice and Reason’, off of Breathless, was a trial run, and I think that worked out well. Believe me, having grown up in DC, I’m very wary of dogmatic lyrics.
Your sound fits snuggly between Superchunk and Yo La Tengo and has now for some time. Would there be any other sides of your music you still have yet to explore? Can we expect the funk side buried in your Motown hearts to emerge soon?
Well, for what it’s worth, the working title for ‘False Idols’ was ‘James Brown’. Actually, the second Hurricane Lamps record, You Deserve What You Want, has what I think is an EXCELLENT homage to Motown called ‘Baby’s Learned a Brand New Dance’. I don’t know if I can top it.
However, I do look forward to branching out, and we’ve got a nice four-on-the-floor, wah-wah workout that we’ve been toying with in practice. It feels like this band can do anything, so I hope we will branch out, although my allegiance is to the rawk.
Where did, and I do mean this jokingly (half joking), that blazing Pete Townsend guitar solo of ‘Dance’ come from and why don’t we hear more?
Buh-buh-but. What about the solo in ‘False Idols’? And ‘Maybe Love’s a Transmission’? And, and ‘Now We Are Three’? I’m really glad you like that solo; I’ve worried that it’s the weakest one on there! For better or worse, I don’t think there’ll be any shortage of solos for me and, given how large Pete looms in my musical DNA, I’ve got to think some of them will Townshend-esque. Hell, I should be so lucky!
February 29, 2008
by Stephen Deusner
"O, Calendar" is a small piece of a much larger puzzle. The track appears on the Jet Age's second album, What Did You Do During The War, Daddy?, an ambitious, ambiguous song cycle about an American suicide bomber. The Washington, D.C., power-indie-pop band manage to sympathize with the character's outrage without condoning such violence, while acknowledging that the old means of protest-- marching on Washington, taking to the streets, even to some extent writing songs-- no longer work in the Bush era. Compelling in its convictions and streamlined in its storytelling, What Did You Do is just the sort of album Ted Leo ought to be making.
To its credit, "O, Calendar" may be a lynchpin track on that album, but it stands up well on its own. Beginning with Greg Bennett's pulsing bass and Eric Tischler's urgent rhythm guitar licks, the song bursts to life with Pete Nuwayser's boisterous drumming, which sounds like he's got four arms and twice as many toms. Nuwayser antagonizes Tischler's vocal melodies, relenting only when they reach the sing-along clap-along bridge. "Your arms-- languorous and lithe," Tischler sings as the other instruments fall away, "hold me close, make me feel alive." Out of its album context, "O, Calendar" sounds like an urgent expression of romantic contentment, with only a hint of darker times ahead.
The Devil Has The Best Tuna
February 21, 2008
When you hear the words 'concept album' what do you think of? Ludicrously pretentious, self indulgently theatrical art-rock based on an obscure Tolkien novel wrapped up in a double gatefold sleeve with a design by Storm Thorgerson? I know I do!
However there was a time before the pomposity of Yes, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Rick Wakeman, Genesis and Rush when concept albums were exciting, new and packed to the rafters with brilliant songs. A time when the strength of the songs was more important than the concept. A time before musicians started disappearing up their own backsides at a rate of knots. A time when concept album gems such as S.F. Sorrow by The Pretty Things, The Who Sell Out by The Who, The Zombies' Odessey & Oracle, The Rolling Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request, and The Beatles Sgt Pepper were released.
The last few years have seen the return of the concept album thanks to the likes of Green Day, The Fiery Furnaces, My Chemical Romance and Sufjan Stevens. You can add another name to the list, Maryland's The Jet Age formed by Eric Tischler and Greg Bennett from The Hurricane Lamps with drummer Pete Nuwayser, who have recently released What Did You Do During the War, Daddy? Their new album is a 'soundtrack' (another name for concept album for those who remember 'Tales From Topographic Oceans'!) to an imaginary three act musical about the tragic life of a revolutionary American suicide bomber.
What Did You Do During the War, Daddy wouldn't have been out of place in the golden age of the concept album yet sounds bang up to date. Churning up the sophisticated punk of The Minutemen and Husker Du, the slacker cool of Dinosaur Jr, the sweaty R&B of The Who and the shoegazing guitar dynamics of Swervedriver, the Jet Age produce a powerful concoction that'll fracture your eardrums and help in the campaign to rehabilitate the concept album to it's rightful place in the musical pantheon.
The Price of Sacrifice: The Jet Age
Washington Post Express, page E7
February 21, 2008
by Stephen Deusner
DESPITE ITS INQUISITIVE, SOMEWHAT ACCUSATORY TITLE, the new album from the Silver Spring-based group The Jet Age is not protest rock.
Instead, the 11 intelligently written, energetically performed songs on "What Did You Do During the War, Daddy?" tell the tragic story of a regular American husband and father who becomes a suicide bomber, along the way posing some difficult questions about political outrage, public indifference and personal sacrifice.
These are heady issues for a power-pop trio, especially one that hasn't been together very long. Following the break-up of local indie heroes the Hurricane Lamps, singer/songwriter/guitarist Eric Tischler and bass player Greg Bennett founded the Jet Age with Pete Nuwayser, a drummer of Herculean force. They released their debut, "Breathless," in 2006, but "What Did You Do During the War, Daddy?" represents a great leap forward for the band: a dynamic combination of Bennett's melodic bass lines, Nuwayser's thunderous drumming and Tischler's own spidery guitar work.
"I felt like I could write whatever I wanted to write and the band could handle it," says Tischler, describing the result as "a rock musical." Still, he notes, "I didn't want to make it heavy-handed. I think the songs, with very few exceptions, stand on their own completely."
The album was inspired by the singer's own frustrations with the current administration. Tischler, a husband and father himself, makes it clear that he does not condone the extreme measures taken by the album's protagonist, a loving family man transformed by his own outrage into a killer. "It's not advocating violence," he says. "That's just what happens in the story."
According to Tischler, the album simply encourages discussion, participation, and, as the title implies, a great deal of questioning.
"Some people do protest, and God bless them for trying. But I have the sense that it doesn't work anymore," he says. "So what do we do next? What do I owe my family to make the world better?"
A spirited album like this one sounds like a good start.
March 8, 2008
by Jason Perry
Regardless if you frequent the Republican or Democratic party, one viewpoint holds true for both sides: the United States of America, at this point in time, is a united mess. Fear of a recession, a housing market that’s bleeding like a stuck pig, terrorism and an International reputation that belongs in the world’s septic tank: name a societal ill and the U.S. probably suffers from it.
Who can the American people look to for guidance and protection? A question Jet Age frontman Eric Tischler conceptualizes into What Did You Do During The War, Daddy?: a soundtrack for an imaginary musical detailing a family man who, frustrated with the U.S. governments ineptitude, becomes an American suicide bomber.
Broken up into three distinct acts, During The War rolls out a blanket of power-pop rock tunes: each one a relative and vital part of a greater whole. “Ladies, Don’t Cry Tonight” opens with a heartfelt, toe-tapping folk rhythm then leads into flaying riffs ala Swervedriver. Tischler even throws in his best Pete Townshend impersonation during a wild mid-song solo on “Dance.” The Jet Age’s garage/basement-band production accentuates the raw energy littered throughout During The War, harkening back to the era of ‘70s politically charged pop-rock. Truth be told, The Jet Age are at their best when completely unpredictable and untamed. Toned down tracks like “Shake” and “False Idols” don’t contain enough bite and are simply lost in the mix.
Along with bassist Greg Bennett and drummer Pete Nuwayser, Tischler excels in composing catchy hooks with a purpose. If you’re looking for mindless pop-rock drivel, turn elsewhere: The Jet Age has a message whether you want to hear it or not. During The War chronicles a nameless protagonist who’s in a state of frustration and discontent due to his inability to protect his wife and children from society’s malevolent ills. “I Said, ‘Alright’” highlights the protagonist’s desire for radical activism and his willingness for self-sacrifice (read: suicide bombing) to benefit his family’s future. It’s a stance few will agree with, but the general idea behind coming to terms with self-sacrifice is worthy of analysis. Can During The War be a little over-the-top and dramatic at times? Sure, but that’s exactly The Jet Age’s primary focus. After all, extreme notions create the best dialogue.
Here comes the flood
March 5, 2008
by Hans Werksman
It is a big idea for a concept album. What if there was such a thing like a revolutionary American suicide bomber? Erich Tischler, guitar player for The Jet Age wrote a song called False Idols, a song about martyrs, revolution, and political messaging and strung them together with two more songs that fitted the idea: If I Had You Then, I’d Still Want You Now and Shake. Those three songs would become parts of the three acts that make up the What Did You Do During The War, Daddy? album.
There are not that many garage band concept albums around - somehow it doesn't seem to fit with the idea of 3 minute riff based songs, but in this case it works really well. Tischler followed the advice of Pete Townshend who once claimed that he found writing was much easier when he had a “brief” to write to, and suddenly the idea of CREATING a structure for this new record immediately made sense.
In little over half an hour Tischler paints vivid pictures of a war that hasn't happened yet. If H.G. Wells had been in rock band, these are the kind of songs he would have been playing.
Parasites & Sycophants
February 21, 2008
The Jet Age's What Did You Do During the War, Daddy? is the brainchild of frontman Eric Tischler, and originally conceived as a soundtrack to an imaginary musical centered around what our duties are as citizens when government goes awry. As for the music, the album comes in three acts, and is a dark concoction of sounds, bringing to mind indie's halcyon days of true creative freedom. Yes indeed, while The Jet Age don't sound dated, the overall feel recalls the golden age of punk (Minutemen, Husker Du, etc....), when there was no prescribed formula. The album opens with the folksy acoustic piece "Ladies, Don't Cry Tonight," acting as an intro to the perpetually crashing guitars that permeate this record. Be prepared to take on a sound reminiscent of "You're Living All Over Me," period Dinosaur Jr., on "If I Had You Then I'd Still Want You Now," complete with guitar solo. Speaking of solos, "False Idols" begins with an Unrest like guitar intro (only The Jet Age have the reverb cranked), clocks in as the longest song on the record, and includes a lead break that what it lacks in technicality, is made up by raw spirit. Moving along, "Dance" is a bass derived number, complete with harmonies, a good guitar break, and an overall sound that makes me want to pull out my old Dagnasty records. In fact, this is a concept album and not single oriented, but my favorite song, "Maybe Love's a Transmission," also recalls the previously mentioned group as well. Finally, I really like the Wedding Presentesque opening chord progression of "O, Calendar," and the chugging guitars on the shoegaze hybrid "Dumb." Figure it all out for yourself as you check out the songs below.
February 21, 2008
The Jet Age has long been an office favorite, and a few listens to the band's new album, What Did You Do During the War, Daddy? has only solidified that status. During the War contains the same driving, muscular indie rock heard on the local trio's 2006 album Breathless but it is a more compact and focused offering. The guitar heroics are still there, just toned down a bit, and the always-tight rhythm section is locked in to an even greater degree. Songs like "Ladies, Don't Cry Tonight" and "O, Calendar" (apparently the band is fond of commas this time around) even have sing-along moments that up the material's catchiness quotient. Tonight's show at DC9 marks the official album release; J. Forte and the Secret Pop Band open.
February 20, 2008
by Har Heijmans
Since a few weeks the United States (and a large part of the rest of the world) are under the spell of Obama and Hillary. The real elections are still about nine months away, but the Democratic Primaries are a thriller. You would almost forget that there is still another president at te wheel. And every day there are more Americans who have a lot of problems with this president. Americans like Eric Tischler from The Jet Age.
After The Jet Age's debut album "Breathless" from 2006 this singer/guitarist from Silver Springs, Maryland started working on the next record. A soundtrack to an imaginary musical that asks what is our responsibility, as citizens, when our government is out of control. With this issue as a subject and the riff to the song "If I Had You Then, I'd Still Want You Now" as the starting point Eric started working on the songs for the political concept album What Did You Do During the War, Daddy? from The Jet Age.
The story is about a family man who gets in trouble with his own passivity, while his government is dumbing down the population. At the end he comes to the tragic conclusion that a suicide bomb attack is the only solution. Together with bassist Greg Bennett and drummer Pete Nuwayser Eric has completed the songs with splendid heavy music. Music which, according to Eric is influenced by bands like The Who, Swervedriver and My Bloody Valentine (although I can't hear this last band in this music). The CD was released by Sonic Boomerang Records.
February 18, 2008
by Eliot Van Buskirk
The Jet Age, a Washington, D.C. trio whose latest album, What Did You Do During the War, Daddy? landed in my inbox recently. To me, this is some solid, really promising stuff. They sound enough like bands I've loved in the past to win an instant familiarity, but have way more than enough of their own sound going on.
The band knows its way around its guitar pedals, constructs satisfying progressions, and has a locked in aspect to its riffery that bespeaks long hours in the practice studio.
Well, I'm enjoying it anyway; have a listen for yourself.
February 15, 2008
by Sean Kendall
Music is War
In a year of arguably one of our countries most important elections in the past half century, it’s always good to see an artist question authority. I’m not talking about a ‘fuck the system’ ego trip but instead the viewpoint of theoretical action. Enter in Eric Tischler and his trio of rock enthusiasts The Jet Age with their latest long player What Did You Do During The War Daddy?. Originally conceived as a (albeit far off) Broadway musical of sorts, During The War questions the responsibilities of citizens when their government is out of control. Even the album is broken down into three acts. Hokey? Yeah. But regardless of the fable, During the War is a fine rock album when it wants to be.
The album plays out just as its cock-and-bull story alludes; three separate acts dealing with your everyday affairs of love, government deception, and suicide bombing. Yes, this is not your standard pop-rock mindless chatter - Tischler has a point. Sure it’s a bit over-dramatic but shakes the core of rock back to when it was a political movement with attitude and substance. I’m talking the underlined messages of The Who mixed with enough Superchunk riffs to buy into the ears of most. It’s no classic, but it has heart. Look no further than second act ‘I Said, Alright’ for said-political spin wickedly helmed by savvy percussion ala Pete Nuwayser. The slapdash 4-track sounding recording actually benefits the garage noise of hammered drums and whaling guitars on the heavier hitting moments. Trailblazer ‘If I Had You Then I’d Still Want You Now’ is three minutes of punk-pop perfection only one upped by the furor of ‘Maybe Love’s a Transmission’. Eric Tischler laments with the best of them garnering comparisons to the likes of Oxford Collapse frontman Mike Pace in both wit and growl at times.
The more harmless moments like the introspective ‘Shake’ are less invigorating in part due to the band taking a back seat to Tischler’s shaky vox work. At other times a lot of During the War comes entirely too close to Sonic Youth-like catastrophes (for better or worse); moments where the guitar takes over and flatlines in the beautiful mess it causes. What the band lacks in control, their love in chaos more than makes up. The rumblings from each beat and circling strings are belligerently brilliant: so much so that it carries the albums lesser burdens thru to the end. It’s no Breathless - the bands inaugural release a few years back - but it’s a solid ride and an atypical note on how political rock should be done.
The Run-off Groove
February 5, 2008
by John Book
The Jet Age create a themed album of sorts with What Did You Do During The War, Daddy?, where the concept is explored in three acts. However, this isn't Disney's High School Musical. The concept touches on a guy who seems to be an armchair critic of the war, and suddenly he has an urge to get involved and make his views known, to where he is willing to die for the cause and lies that are the basis behind all wars.
The Jet Age are an incredible power trio (Pete Nuwayser on drums, Greg Bennett on bass, and Eric Tischler on vocals, guitars, and keyboards) who play with the same kind of revolutionary angst that made bands like Soul Asylum, The Replacements and The Wipers so powerful in their day. There is a raw sound that sounds like it was recorded in one room, not distinctively mixed but enough to where it would sound good on a 45 rpm single.
What Did You Do During The War, Daddy? is an album that would normally get a lot of attention in today's marketplace, but for whatever reason isn't. Let's change that. People considered Green Day for being bold with their American Idiot album, and they were. Years after its release, there's still a war and social riots going on, and there's still a need to talk about those frustrations, even as a metaphor of what could be done if one went to the extreme.
Silver Spring Penguin
October 19, 2007
by Jennifer Deseo
Fasten your safety belts, and place your seat-back trays in their upright and locked position. The Jet Age is about to break the sound barrier.
Silver Spring trio The Jet Age revives the frenzied guitar strumming and explosive drums of old-school garage punk. The dudes — guitarist Eric Tischler, Greg Bennett on bass, and Pete Nuwayser on skins — hit with high-speed acoustics like The Stooges on Snickers and Mountain Dew.
The tune “Please Come Home Now” revs like a mean, angry 1972 Camaro on a mission. It’s gruff rhythm and vicious guitar are just scary enough to send young parents with babies running for cover.
The band’s “Out of Sight” downshifts slightly, allowing for ample moshing and stage diving. In both songs, Tishler’s vocals screech like that Camaro whizzing past at breakneck speed.
The Jet Age slips into psychedelic mode on “Denny and Michelle”, a dark and moody song that uses its bassline to craftily bring out the bleak. Another trip through the rabbit hole, titled “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose”, uses swirling guitars to hark back to the sixties.
Take The Jet Age for a test run on the band’s website, then catch them tonight at the Quarry House (8401 Georgia Ave). The show starts at 9:00 p.m.
June 29, 2007
by Matthew Stabley
Surprisingly impressive was Silver Spring's the Jet Age. This is a local band worth checking out. While mixing some power pop and psychedelia into their songs, the group also played largely garage rock -- the loudest, heaviest, most adrenaline-fueled set of the evening. And the singer's voice, soft and tender and heading toward the upper ranges (think post-Beatles McCartney sans accent), was an interesting counterpoint on top of that hard rock.
February 1, 2007
The Washington Post
January 26, 2007
by Mark Jenkins
Since retooling the Hurricane Lamps as the Jet Age, Eric Tischler seems to have spent more time intensifying his guitar attach than expanding his songwriting. The local trio's "Breathless" opens with a gentle strum, but after 15 seconds, Tischler stomps on a pedal and the universe fills with dirty sound. It's enough to suggest that the guitarist, who doesn't sound very jingle-jangle on this album, has taken to heart Roger McGuinn's Byrds-era claim to have devised a jet-age sound.
"Breathless" is not simply a collections of vamps, riffs and blarers. There are tunes and lyrics here, and they hold their own. Only one of the 10 tracks, the eight-minute "Big Deaths, Little Deaths," exists primarily as a showcase for the band's careening, muscular style. Yet even such shapely numbers as "Denny and Michelle" are punctuated by squalling guitar, and the band's philosophy is encapsulated by such titles as "Ride On." When Tischler sings, "The way you drive, I dunno / It's like you come alive," he could be talking to himself.
January 2, 2007
by Joe Tangari
When you see a three-piece rock band live, that's all you hear: three guys playing and singing. On record, you almost never get that. It's much more likely that songs will be piled high with overdubs and double-tracked vocals. So Breathless, the first album by the Jet Age, winds up being different by virtue of its sheer simplicity-- with only one exception, the record sounds exactly like the band would live.
The trio is led by Eric Tischler, a man whose love of the Who is evident in the way he puts a song together, allowing for ample drum fills and guitar tangents. Tischler spent years as the nucleus of the Hurricane Lamps, who made a series of very raw power-pop albums, and Breathless announces his intention to make the Jet Age his rock band. It's not that there's no pop songcraft here-- just that Pete Nuwayser's drums get a lot of leeway to roam and Tischler reels off a higher than expected number sharp fuzz-tone solos.
Tischler opens the album with a long peel of cosmic lead guitar, but the themes he explores on the record are decidedly more terrestrial. His lyrics are full of natural forces, especially weather, and he relates them to family and the alternate feelings of safe harbor and tumult it can provide. "See what you thought you could never see/ A home, a hearth, a family/ A hundred feet below as you climb/ If you could just touch down before you die," he sings on "Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose," capturing a slice of the mind of someone who never made time for a such relationships.
As basic as the sound is, the band does a lot with dynamics to keep it interesting. "Slope" has gentle, dream-like verses, but when it gets to the chorus, the drums slip out of time-keeping completely-- the four lines of the chorus are driven forward by nothing but drum fills and frenzied guitar strumming with the distortion pedal off. Tischler's tendency to stay away from the effects when he's not playing a lead keeps things clean and uncluttered.
As fun as it is to hear a rock trio happily bashing away, there's evidence that they could do great things with a more produced sound on "Big Deaths, Little Deaths", the only song with an audible overdub. As the track stretches out past five minutes in a quick-tempo buildup, Tischler harmonizes wordlessly with several of himselves, and the effect is enough to make you wish he'd try it more often.
Whether or not he does, the Jet Age figures to be entertaining. Good songs played by a straightforward rock trio will always find their way into people's playlists, regardless of what's big at the moment. The Jet Age provides exactly that on Breathless.
by Fred Mills
It never hurts to have a celebrity fan in your corner, and even at this early stage in the career of the Jet Age, extant for about a year, it's got a high-profile supporter. The Wedding Present's David Gedge, in a stroke of eerie prescience, recently suggested to the Silver Spring, Md., trio that its nom du rawk was more evocative and dynamic-sounding than the name Hurricane Lamps, frontman Eric Tischler and bassist Greg Bennett's previous outfit. As consistent as the Lamps were across their five albums, the Jet Age's Breathless marks a huge step forward, from Tischler's songwriting to the musicians' performances to the production and overall ambience. Lamps devotees, don't worry; Tischler is still unleashing bright shards of his trademark riffery and serving up literate epistles in his Roger Daltrey-meets-Robert Smith voice. But on tracks such as taut thumper "Ride On" (a showcase for the hyperkinetic rhythm section), the blazingly visceral "I Gave Up On Justice And Reason" (a Who homage) and the eight-minute "Big Deaths, Little Deaths" (jammy, but immaculately crafted), the Jet Age already has a cache of anthems. "Such a quiet peace... to reach the peak," sings Tischler on "Deaths," and that seems eerily prescient, too. Because with this debut, his band has clearly hit an early high.
by Tim Hinely
Maryland’s Hurricane Lamps (led by the elusive Eric Tischler) called it a day last year but that does not mean that its members have stopped playing music. On the contrary, Tischler and H.L. bassist Greg Bennett have carried on at The Jet Age and have picked up drummer Pete Nuwayser along the way. Nuwayser has a much more powerful style than the Lamps drummer (Jason Merriman) and with the ‘Tisch cranking up more power chords the Jet Ages take off like a rocket to some other planet, sorta like comparing an old GTO (The Jet Age) to an newer Mustang (The Hurricane Lamps) not better or worse, just a different animal altogether. The record opens with “Sometime you Win, Sometimes You Lose” a song which starts off with an acid rock guitar lead (which, quite frankly, scared me a bit ) but from that point on it back to the usual riffing from Tischler. More of the Unrest/Wedding Present hyper strum that he has become known for. “Denny and Michelle” is more low-key while “I Gave Up on Justice and Reason” shows why they got that new drummer in the first place with some killer Keith Moon-ish fills all over the place. I was an unhappy camper when Hurricane Lamps left us but with The Jet Age it’s a comfortable new beginning.
Tonight's Top Stop
by Scott Rosenberg
Published September 18, 2006
WHAT'S A MAN TO DO when the lights get turned out for his band the Hurricane Lamps? If you're Eric Tischler, you grab one of your old band mates and take flight as the Jet Age. This new band, with singer/guitarist Tischler, former Lamps bassist Greg Bennett and drummer Pete Nuwayser, takes the stage at the Black Cat tonight in support of the band's debut album, "Breathless." The Jet Age, which made its first live appearance last year opening for British indie pop stalwarts the Wedding Present, is a very different band than the Hurricane Lamps, Tischler told Express.
While the Jet Age and the Lamps tread along similar musical boundaries — fuzzed-out indie rock that recalls '90s mainstays such as Superchunk — Tischler is quick to point out the fundamental difference between the two bands: "The Hurricane Lamps wore their songs like straightjackets, and the Jet Age ... the three of us feel very comfortable with taking the song as a launchpad and seeing where we can take the song," he said.
The Lamps were local favorites in the early part of this decade. They released five albums and toured nationally five times, getting positive press from trendsetting publications like Pitchfork. One of the Lamps' earliest incarnations was one of the first bands to play the Black Cat in 1993, when the town was rocking out to like-minded D.C.-based bands such as Velocity Girl and the Lilys. While that movement died down for a bit, it has now seen a return with more power-pop bands arriving on the scene, the Jet Age included.
"I'm very proud of the Hurricane Lamps, but I'm trying to distance myself from [them]," Tischler said. "The Lamps were always good, but I feel like this band is a great live band. I hope that people that dig the Lamps — and people that didn't dig the Lamps — will come out."
New Music from Local Bands
By David Malitz
Published September 15, 2006
Jangly indie pop beefed up by big, fuzzy guitar solos. "Breathless" is a very focused record that sounds more assured than most debuts. This shouldn't be all that surprising since singer/guitarist Eric Tischler and bassist Greg Bennett were two-thirds of the Hurricane Lamps, an underrated and prolific local band that released five solid albums between 1999 and 2004. The sound isn't that far off from that of the Lamps, which makes sense since only the drummer has changed in the Jet Age. The songs are ragged without being sloppy and bring to mind some of the best in the indie rock pantheon, whether it be Dinosaur Jr., with the distorted solos or Superchunk with Tischler's high pitched, enthusiastic vocals.
By David Malitz
Published May 26, 2006
Local trio the Jet Age made its live debut last year opening for the Wedding Present -- not a bad way to introduce yourself to the world. It wasn't just a case of extremely fortuitous booking, though; the group features former members of the Hurricane Lamps, one of the area's most consistent (and consistently overlooked) indie rock acts over the past decade. The Wedding Present also serves as a pretty good reference point for the Jet Age, as the group goes back and forth between the very strummy Britpop and more dynamic post-grunge sound that the Weddoes have spent the last couple of decades perfecting. The Jet Age is finishing up its debut album and will be giving away free previews tonight at the Black Cat's backstage.
Spring's Eric Tischler, who
led the Hurricane Lamps to a glowing
reputation as a solid, pop-driven rock band in the decade's first years
-- only to see the group's lights go out in 2004 -- returns as the
singer/guitarist/synth-playing frontman of the locally based Jet Age,
playing Tuesday at the Black Cat.