I like it loud and clear so don’t be shy
give me my music and I’m ready to fly
If it ain’t loud enough I don’t waste my time
’cause mellow rock is just a bloody crime

Jetboy Feel Shake 05

US Import: Check

Singer with Mohawk: Check

Ex-member of Hanoi Rocks: Check

Trouser tightness of more than 5lbs/sq. inch: Check

At least one band member adopting an orthopaedically ill-advised stance on front cover: Check

Shirt openness of more than 1/3 (averaged out per member): Check

Decent producer: Check

More than 2 things worn around neck on leather thongs (per member): Check

Jetboy Feel Shake 01

How could I possibly go wrong buying Jetboy Feel the Shake back in January 1990?  No-one I knew had heard of them, which meant that surely the album must be a buried treasure, sometimes LPs are just too good for the common herd to embrace.  Hmm.  Sometimes peeps don’t buy them because they’re just not very good.  I remembered this album as having two decent songs on it, that’s rose-tinted spectacles for you!

Jetboy Feel Shake 03

First track ‘Feel the Shake’ is the best track by far, over a slow strum that gently builds up to a bit of a shouty chorus, singer Mickey Finn sings to us of why he loves rock so much and how Jetboy are the real deal.

Pound it hard make it fast and rip those leads
’cause I ain’t happy till it makes my ears bleed
Vibrations hit me like I’ve never heard
my body’s swayin’ from the very first word

It’s a very good track this one, sounding way different to all the late 80’s LA mulch that was clogging everything up around this time (Jetboy were originally from SF, but relocated), owing more to the more experimental bands lurking around the darkened edges of the strip, than to Warrant.  I used to put this on compilations for friends. they’d then ask me to do the LP for them and then they’d ask me if the rest of it was the same band.

The problem is with Feel The Shake is that there’s just no real personality here, none at all.  It’s all very competently played, no-one is out of tone or tune, nobody fluffs any chord changes…but I wish they had.  The biggest disappointment is singer Mickey Finn, I mean there he is a big guy with a Mohawk and the blandest rock voice of his era, no depth, no soul.  All this on a Tom Allom / Ric Browde production too.  Play this album and it all starts to warp and merge into one song, apart from the ever-so slightly blues tinged ‘Hometown Blues’*.   In fact it occurred to me just now that the whole album sounds like the couple of tracks on Side 2 of Poison’s Open Up And Say … Ahh! that I always skipped.

Jetboy Feel Shake 02

It’s not terrible, just bland, but to my mind if you’re going to name yourselves after a New York Dolls track, you better be good.  Ah well, chalk one up to the common herd.

424 Down.

PS – Guitarist Billy Rowe did eventually surface in 1537 faves American Heartbreak.

PPS – The LP is dedicated to original bassist Todd Crew, who OD’d in Slash’s New York hotel room in 1987, after being sacked by Jetboy a year before Feel The Shake came out.  I re-read his account of it again last night (in Slash’s autobiography), which is far more concerned with self-justification than anything else.

Jetboy Feel Shake 04

*warning: may contain traces of blues, not nuts.

12 thoughts on “Feel The Shake

    1. What really irks me is that the Lp is inside one of those rubbish polythene inner sleeves that US record companies favoured at one stage, it’s impossible to put back neatly … it just messes with my borderline-OCD basically.

      1. No it fits inside, but gets all rucked up at the slightest MF provocation. I don’t want to talk about it anymore if that’s okay (takes sinister inhaler Blue Velvet style).

  1. I love the track Feel the Shake. Always have. It had a great, simple riff. But I never bought the album. After reading this, I know chances are it wouldn’t have become an indespensible favourite. If I found one cheap I’d buy it just for Feel the Shake. But I think it would have to be in my $5 or less pile.

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