"Liquor Store"

By Dr. Abner Mality

The Sterile Jets are about as stripped down as music gets. Bass...drums...guitar...vocals...and that's it. This definitely falls under the heading of alternative or indie rock, although parts of it are quite heavy indeed. Noisy garage rock may describe it best. Although parts of it really test my patience, it's an oddly compelling listen from an eccentric band.

"To The Bars" opens with a clattering drum roll and very minimal guitar chords before one grimy beast of a bass riff comes rumbling in. That super-fat bass sound appears throughout and give the music here extra "oomph". The rest of the song has very "indie" sounding vocals and some raw guitar riffs. It's one of the best on show here. The rest of "Liquor Store" veers between primitive power rock, sheer noise and something like an updated rockabilly sound. "Bender, Day 15" has a swaggering hard rock riff that's super catchy, "The Algebra of Need" is very strange and dissonant, and the concluding "The Mourning Stool" starts with woozy melody before getting progressively noisier and more chaotic. The whole record sounds like it took a lot of inspiration from the title, which I'm guessing the Jets visited frequently during the recording session.

The vocals are hardly brilliant and at their worst, they really annoy with the flat monotone hollers so typical of 90's alt rock. Yet despite the dips in the road, the record hangs together pretty well and is recommended to those pining for the sloppy and fearless days of alternative rock.