Jetboy, Feel the Shake
Imagine being a young metal fan caught up in all the 80’s Metal scene had to offer. You were looking for something different, something that wasn’t cookie-cutter or homogenized. While scanning the racks at your local record store you stumble upon an album from a brand new band that had a name taken from a New York Dolls song, a lead singer with a gigantic mohawk, a bass player snatched from Hanoi Rocks and an album title called Feel the Shake.
Lawd have mercy, I couldn’t pull my wallet out fast enough to purchase this album the first time I saw it.
The late 80s Metal revival was centered in sunny Southern California but Jetboy emerged from San Francisco. This five strong squad was fronted by Mickey Finn and former Hanoi Rocks bassist Sammy Yaffa and they debuted in 1988, with the release of Feel the Shake.
The title track starts this album with a soft-spoken guitar intro before kicking into high gear with a sinister YEEEEAAAAAHHHHHH! I was screaming HELL YEAH myself while cranking it on my home stereo. This was exciting, nothing like I had heard before. This was something original and fresh in a sea of posers. The guitars weren’t overly distorted nor were they shredding needlessly. All the instruments were just plain TIGHT & ROCKIN!
…and boy the rippin’ songs just never let up.
“Make Some Noise” is another anthem that follows up the title track perfectly. “Fuck the Neighbors, I Like it Loud”… With a statement like that how could this not become your new favorite album? I’ll point it out now that Feel the Shake has some of the best kick-ass rock n roll guitar playing of any album ever put out. The twin guitar attack of Billy Rowe & Fernie Rod is infectious and will have you reaching for the volume knob to crank it up even higher!
The sleazy underground vibe continues with “Bad Disease” and “Fire In My Heart” What I feel is the coolest cut on the record is the backwoods blooze cruise of “Home Town Blues”. Ron Tostenson’ drumming is meticulous and swingin all at the same time with the addition of Mickey’s out of this world vocal stylings really drives the point home that this ain’t like no band you ever heard before.
Bringin the tempo back up with the upbeat “Locked in a Cage”. The record speeds full steam ahead with “Talkin”, “Hard Climb”, “Bloodstone” before blasting you into outer space with ballsy LP closer “Snakebite”.
Feel the Shake is an underrated album and Jetboy is an underrated band. Like all bands that were signed to MCA (Femme Fatale, Pretty Boy Floyd, Blue Tears) this band was screwed over huge by MCA. That record label for some reason dropped the ball with every hard rock/metal band they signed.The lack of promotion and investment into this band was a total shame. Not only does this album have all the right stuff, the band had style & grace in spades.
In the year of 1988, Jetboy should have became household names but instead are now the genre’s best kept secret and one of the most underrated bands to ever come out of the whole Metal Era.