This dichotomous debut album of driving rock and soulful yearnings may be titled Zero...
Jules Willis 2002-11-20
This anglo-irish three piece have taken DIY garage punk to the extreme, receiving the well-earned cliché-rich reviews in the music press you'd expect from a band who this time are talented enough to be dubbed the-next-big-thing.
Having been dropped by Geffen Records, Andrew Ferris and Jamie Burchell refused to quit, resulting in one of the hardest working stories in album production. Recruiting Jamie's brother Raife on drums, they built their own straight-to-tape Studios in a shed in West Sussex and began recording songs in earnest at weekends over the course of a year. Soon they bought more equipment and booked themselves five weeks straight in their studio in the summer of 2001, resulting in just two backing tracks. But they persevered until early spring 2002 when they finished recording their debut Zero for Conduct.
In true punk DIY style, Jamie and Andrew formed their own label Smalltown America and pressed the record. They released their first single from the album "This is not Revolution Rock" through the independent Yogaboy Records set up by Nathan McGough, ex-manager of the Happy Mondays and the rest is media history. The second single "Summer Ends" was released February 2002 and in March Zero for Conduct was re-released on Yogaboy as Smalltown America had already sold out.
The mass market appeal of this album lays in the driving optimistic vivacity released as singles but the real mesmerism comes from the gorgeously contemplative "Underground Queen" and the quivering melancholic reverb in "End of the Night". The album genre-hops through its eleven honed tracks from the rhythmically diverse backing to the vengeful grit in Andrew's voice on "What the argument has changed" to melodic US punk lightheartedness with "The boy you love to hate". The glorious Hendrix-esque anthemic intro to "Atom dreams in technicolour" is the final burst of energy before the retrospective acoustic simplicity draws the album to a close with "A miracle of science".
This dichotomous debut album of driving rock and soulful yearnings may be titled Zero for Conduct but Jetplane Landing's diverse songwriting talents and sheer determination will have them at the top of the class before the year is out.