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The Voodoo Jets

From Greens To Eternity

Review by Larry Toering
This is a unique band with no guitars. That's right, there are no guitars. What you will hear instead is the keyboard work of Micah Sheveloff, as he plays his Fender Rhodes though a Marshall amp. This has been done before but the effects here are that of a big guitar sound, rather than synth/keyboard/organ sounding. The Voodoo Jets are originally the brain child of Sheveloff and “Steelheart” drummer John Fowler who passed away in 2008.

Combined with vocalist/virtuoso bassist, Francesco Perrouna, aka “Frank,” and new drummer Greg Trabandt they make for an artistic pop alternative trio. This CD is dedicated to John Fowler (who is actually featured on six tracks), but it marks a new beginning for the band, a fact that is clearly written all over it, "the monster never sleeps..." Neither does the spirit of a truly great band.(to lift an inside quote)

There are a lot of diverse tracks but no thread lost throughout this enjoyable disc as they fly through the ears with sounds you have, and haven't heard before.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Cry

Keyboard power chords that are completely mistaken for guitar, lead the way to a clean and uplifting vocal. This feels so familiar that you'd swear you heard it before, but you haven't. This is always the mark of a special unit. If I had to compare the vocals to anyone it would have to be a cross between Cheap Trick and Smashmouth, in all tonal and delivery sense. It's hard to believe there are no guitars. This is a remarkable number and suitable opener.

Welcome to the Real World
This is wild, simply over the top power pop with massive bass hooks and grooves behind an aggro preaching lyric. There is almost an Alice and Chains vibe to the chorus, as this too sounds like something between a modern pop and post grunge alternative breeding of familiarity. It’s choice stuff all the way. The keyboard work begins to soar into oblivion as the drums start to pick up on this fine track, one of the best on Greens To Eternity.
The Crown
Things get light and fluffy but still maintain a bite with words like "the crowd is going wild, and you're a wild child." The influences are felt going back as far back as the Beatles. There is pop perfection here, if a little heavy handed in that direction.
Decades
Pulling things up a notch, there is a storytelling approach to the lyrics and some cool bits and pieces. "The monster sleeps but never dies..."
Calm Before The Storm
This is a nice little quick bit of "Jesus - Joy Of Man's Desiring" played on the keyboard, and once again you would never know it was a keyboard. This extremely brief track goes through the melody a bit and is there to set up the next piece as an intro or sub-title for it.
Let It Rain

With a killer riff, things get edgy in the vocal deptartment. More Smashmouth sounding, a sort of a pop thrash factor begins to establish itself at this point on the album. The blend results in an inoffensive mix.

Hotel
This is more of the same, but the edge is getting smoother as things mellow out a bit. The 'Hotel' here of course being a woman, this is simply an undeniably good groove.
Smile
With nice lyrics they keep it mellow for the most part and you finally hear what sounds like keys to the ears. This is a vocally interesting number with an up and down arrangement that takes something away from it.
Cartoon
Another pop treat, abstract words and beats keep it all together. This is a very light hearted piece with an artistic spirit. "All of my animated friends, where the sunshine never ends..."
I Am
"Who's going to save me today", Perrouna digs down deep and dark in this REM reminiscent track. It’s not an expected direction this late in the record, but it is what it is. It’s not bad at all, just very melancholy after all the big noises.
The Tears Of A Clown
A frenetic version of the classic Smokey Robinson tune, this would be perfect for a movie soundtrack, once again reminiscent of bands like Smashmouth. The bass hook adds a clever twist, it just works. Covers are usually not as good as the originals, but at least The Voodoo Jets have fun with it and work it to their advantage.
Big Black Machine Gun
The first of two live bonus tracks, they sound great live. This track goes well with the rest of the album. the familiarity factor doesn't lose itself here at all either.
 
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