cramped stylistic quarters

Tear of Thought (Atlantic)
The Screaming Jets

By Kory Wilcoxson

The Screaming Jets are hard to figure out. They seem like a band with the potential to do a lot of diverse things, yet they appear content to frolic in the musical broom closet, in which they are locked.

Considering their self-imposed confinements, they do quite well. Tear of Thought is full of decent rock songs that are as enduring as cotton candy.

Take "Night Child" as a for instance.

You can't help humming the "I need your loving tonight night child" chorus. But if you heard the song a week later, it would be familiar – yet you would be hard pressed to remember where you heard it. It's the kind of faceless song Bon Jovi would be proud of.

Other tunes, like "Living In England" and "Helping Hand," are just as enjoyable and just as forgettable. The songwriting is strictly ho-hum, although the politically incorrect message in "Fix the Feeble" is a nice relief from some of the other "ooh baby baby" babble on the album.

I have to ask the same question that little old lady in the Wendy's commercial was wondering: Where's the beef? If The Screaming Jets ever decide to bust through some barriers and make some real noise, they'd be worth remembering.