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Jetplane Landing | Zero for Conduct (Smalltown America)
Stepping up to the mic, former guitarist for Derry four-piece Cuckoo, Andrew Ferris formed Jetplane Landing alongside rhythm section siblings Jamie and Raife Burchell (Cuckoo and My Drug Hell respectively). Opening with the Pavement-esque jolt of Tiny Bombs, 'Zero for Conduct' wears its influences on its sleeve but is at its strongest when unburdened of comparison (Chris Leo posted the Jetplane Landing site recently to thank the band for their 'tribute to The Van Pelt' on the recent Fierce Panda compilation 'Mosh & Go' ?? such is What The Argument Has Changed's similarity to Leo's style). When the tone turns more introspective and melodic the album shines brightest, with highlights The Boy You Love To Hate (which Ferris admits owes a debt to Elliott Smith's Bled White), the lilting End of the Night and pure pop bliss of Last Thing I Should Do and A Miracle of Science. Ferris' is blessed with a likeable, easy on the ear voice and a similarly lyrical approach to his guitar that twists and turns imaginatively throughout. Self-produced but with the multiple textures and punch of a big-budget studio project, there's enough here to suggest that Jetplane Landing are destined to inspire their own imitators before long.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002