Jetfuel - New Form Ultra Function
Thrash-Influenced Hardcore/Metal
10 songs (32:09)
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Ken

Massachusetts has spawned many a great band over the years, but very few, if any, can be classified as one of the most unique bands ever—yes, ever! Sam Black Church—what a killer band name!—was that band. Formed in the late Eighties Sam Black Church quickly spread its disease: a signature brand of disjointed, chaotic thrash-meets-hardcore-infused lo-fi dirge metal that was less of one thing and more of many. Seeing the band perform live was the only way to understand and appreciate the true spectacle, the unrivaled insanity, that was Sam Black Church (this photo and the videos below should give you some slight insight). The band released a handful of albums over the years, but, sadly, after releasing The Black Comedy in 1998, they disbanded two years later.

After a few years, brothers Ben and Jesse “Jet” Crandall, founding members of Sam Black Church, formed Jetfuel. For those looking for a new Sam Black Church fix, look no further. New Form Ultra Function could be considered a new Sam Black Church album as it says in the album booklet that “most of these songs began their life as possible SBC songs, and were crafted in the SBC vein but only made it part of the way before Sam Black decided to call it a day.”

New Form Ultra Function begins with “Whores;” those familiar with Ben and Jet, will quickly revel in the dirty groove of the first half of the song, the thrash stomp that follows, and Jet’s unmistakably discordant and unique vocals. “Denominator” and “Hades County Line” follow, the former being similar to “Whores,” while the latter takes on a more thrash approach paced with a pulsing, almost-drum machine-like, cadence. Things follow a similar path for most of the album, but songs like “Satan’s Submarines” and “Hole At The Bottom” are both heavy tracks, sprinkled with an underlying melodiousness. “Secret Formula” is a standout track with its driving, techno-based verses smothered in Ben Crandall’s headbang-inducing riffs and Jet’s off-the-wall vocals that range from rock to metal to madman-like ravings! “Soft White Underbelly” is the fastest and most chaotic song on the album; a song that simply shouldn’t work, but somehow it makes for one head-scratching metal masterpiece—how these guys make this stuff work is beyond me! “Son Of Sam” drops the curtain on New Form Ultra Function with a relentless pounding from the metal forge, a melodic and extremely catchy chorus, and some of the more “normal” vocals on the album, relatively speaking.

Sam Black Church may be dead, but Jetfuel carry the torch high. The production is consistent with Sam Black Church’s last album, The Black Comedy, a crisper, cleaner sound compared to earlier albums. Like with Sam Black Church, Jetfuel are little of one thing and more of many. There is metal; there is hardcore; there is thrash and some more modern influences. To accurately classify Jetfuel would be difficult, but if “Beyond Compare” were a genre they’d be in there with a short list of others. New Form Ultra Function is not for everyone; the sound and style of Jetfuel—and the same could be said about Sam Black Church—is not something you hear every day, thus the love/hate factor applies. But if you “get” Jetfuel, it doesn’t get much better than this.

And that’s “the fuckin’ news!” Take a trip, turn it up.

AUDIO: Jetfuel on MySpace and Sam Black Church on MySpace

VIDEO: Captain Of The World (Sam Black Church, live video) and The Way We Were (Sam Black Church, live video)

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
Whores, Denominator, Hades County Line, Secret Formula, Soft White Underbelly and Son Of Sam
Ken quoted 95 / 100
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