Jet Black
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Jet Black

Québec, Quebec, Canada | SELF

Québec, Quebec, Canada | SELF
Band Rock




"Jet Black - Escape Measures"

(3.5/5) Les guitares des Jet Black baignent littéralement dans une mer de distorsion, tellement que la voix de Francis Berthelot est reléguée à l’arrière-plan ! Certains se rappelleront des beaux jours de Foo Fighters à l’écoute du premier titre, 6AM. C’est tout juste si on peut distinguer les paroles, ce qui n’est pas forcément un défaut. Les musiciens avouent avoir beaucoup écouté des formations comme Jawbox, Failure, Catherine Wheel et Swervedriver, inspirés par les mouvements noise rock, post-hardcore et shoegaze.

Le tout premier album du quatuor basé à Québec est constitué de morceaux assez différents les uns des autres (la douce Engine Up) qui ne sont pas particulièrement mélodiques, en bons rockers que sont Jet Black. C’est plutôt la dynamique des guitares qui vole le show avec ses variations d’intensité (Low Flying Plane, à la Nirvana ou Alice in Chains).

Le chanteur n’a toutefois pas la prestance des Kurt Cobain et autres Eddie Vedder qui ont mené le mouvement grunge au début des années 90. Lorsqu’on lui laisse davantage de place (sur Surface, par exemple), on découvre sa voix rauque et sensible... à la Cobain. Les guitares se reprennent bien plus loin durant le morceau (et tout au long de l’album) ; on ne tombe jamais dans la ballade, rassurez-vous.

Jet Black est composé de Francis Berthelot, Jean-Philippe Laforge, Philippe St-Laurent et Stéphanie Vézina. Leur premier album "Escape Measures" est paru en fin 2011 et est disponible en vinyle (limité à 500 copies).

"The Big Takeover Issue No. 70"

Jack Rabid Top 40
Jet Black

This Quebec foursome enticed this writer into listening by claiming Jawbox and Swervedriver as influences, but such revered reference also sets a bar usually too impossibly high to meet. Wrong-turns out one band could! Escape reveals a little-known, scruffy, four-year-old, French Canadian co-ed powerhouse that could have easily shared stages with such mutual heroes in their 90’ salad days; or the revived Swervedriver today (you could easily see Jet Black covering a Mezcal Head tune); or The Stranglers, whose 38 year drummer might call and as his name back (well, he was born Brian John Duffy 73 years ago, so he might not). Which is to say they have the same kind of nasty yet cool, killer crunch lift-off, and bellowed choruses that come flying out of the clamor, as well as a similar charging, charged riffing authority that makes every song stand-up – especially blasting, boffo bashers such as the opening ‘6 AM’ and the sinister, slamming ‘Sedative Shot’. Uniquely for a debut, they also dangle some well-placed slower tracks, and cooling vocal passagers from frontman Philippe St-Laurent, to break up Jean-Philippe Laforge’s cymbal-crashing, snare-a-whippin’ drums, Stephanie Vezina’s heavy bass, and St-Laurent and Francis Berthelot’s perfectly punching guitars. If you are never surprised by new bands you’ve never heard of, you might despair that kids today don’t get it. But some do. Bet they tore up SXSW this year! (Note : this is mostly available digitally on iTunes; the vinyl is limited edition.) ( - The Big Takeover Magazine / Jack Rabid

"Artist of the week - may 7, 2012"

If you've ever dreamed of life as a rock n' roll band, presumably the big house, five cars, and superstar ways never faded. If you really are in a rock n' roll band, however, as Canadian alt-rockers Jet Black see it, the reality gets a little ho-hum. The eminent stage high sinks when daylight shows an average, ordinary face, yet it's that crazy spiral of energy that keeps these musical gamblers on their heels.

"The vicious cycle of daily life can get very boring after a while," the band explains to BreakThru Radio. "Hence the title of our last record, Escape Measures. On the other hand, we try to constantly discover new bands and keep ourselves informed on a lot of topics. Our rehearsing space is near a stable, and we are practicing two to three times a week at least."

Jet Black took its groove from the alternative rock trajectory of the '90s, a decade where mainstream all-American sound thrived while, simultaneously, a divergent subgenre of punk wove its way through seedy underground nightclubs in New York and L.A. to record stores worldwide. The clash between the two was a sort of artistic utopia, creating a wide range of noise and a diverse line-up of creators. For this French quartet from Quebec, though the terrain nowadays may not be as obviously motley, there lies a similar undercurrent, which they aim to traverse in their movement.

"Where there's a mainstream, there's a counterculture," Jet Black points out. "Right now, the "90s-influenced alt-rock sub-genre" is something quite unconventional. At the same time, the few people who are really enjoying this kind of music are dedicated about it. Bands like Rival Schools, The Life And Times, Teenage Fanclub, Nada Surf and Autolux, for instance, are bands that inspired us not necessarily only for their music, but also for the fact that they kept playing a style of music which is influent and is not mandatory made to fit the criterions of the mass demands or to fit the ''coolness standards'' elaborated by some elite musical medias."

Together since 2008, Jet Black consists of three men (guitarists Francis Berthelot and Philippe St-Laurent, and drummer Jean-Philippe Laforge) and a kick-ass lady on bass (Stephanie Vezina), and they began with a mission to not only accomplish great sonic moments in their work, but to achieve their success through their own means and under their own terms. For that reason, they embraced the "DIY ethic," which shouldn't insinuate they've started a PR campaign or anything too sophisticated; it simply means they make their own records, and bring them to the people.

Describes the quartet, "There's no such thing as business in Jet Black. Sure there are some little things we've got to take care of, but nothing too important to be forced to separate business from the art. The musical accomplishment and personal achievement is what really matters in the band. The rest is what we could call "operational necessities" (i.e. book this, pay that, etc.)... We have a very precise artistic ideal and we always strive to do as much as possible, if not everything, by ourselves."

Currently, the rockers are lining up show dates for the summer to promote the release of Escape Measures, which came out in October on their label, Dryland. They're also working on music for a second LP, which they aim to record during the winter. All that, and a maybe little paperwork too, to keep them busy during those slow days, but don't expect to hear their music on any Converse commercials coming up.

"Jet Black is by no means a brand or anything," they comment when asked if they had an ideology behind them. "Any brand that chooses Jet Black as an endorser of their product is really making a big marketing mistake!" - Breakthru Radio

"Jet Black - Escape Measures review"

Self Released (2011)

Here's a buzz word that keeps popping up in a lot of what I am writing lately: 90s. Throwing back seems to be a pretty popular thing these days and as I've stated before, I am A-OK with that. Jet Black hail from Quebec, Canada, but their music hails from 90s alternative land. So much of what they're doing is steeped in that glorious time where halfway decent music dominated the airwaves. I hear some Nirvana here, a little Jawbox there, but what I hear more than anything else is a tight band that really knows how to string a great song together. Escape Measure is an album that brings back to those wonderful loud/quiet/loud days of yore.
- I Buy Way Too Many Records

"Jet Black - Escape Measures (2011) - A brief overview"

Perhaps I was too hasty in assembling my top albums list for 2011 this past New Years day. It never ceases to amaze me that I find some of my favorite albums of any given year, the January of February after, and I'm more than happy to have Quebec's Jet Black fill that belated void this time. The amped-out swath cut out by this co-ed quartet isn't wholly innovative, but is startlingly visceral at times.

Austere, but not brooding, and slyly angular without alienating, Jet Black's debut Escape Measures packs some serious musculature. Muscle I might add, that's carefully allocated to mesh with the bittersweet melodicism of the scintillating opener "6 AM" and a little further in "Daydreamer" and "Archives." Coincidentally or not, much of this album exudes the finer aptitudes and facets of so many of my personal favorite '90s underdogs including Sprinkler, Skiploader, Monsterland and Failure. In fact, I never thought I'd see the day where I could use even one of the aforementioned as a comparison, let alone all four in one fell swoop, but this is the kind of indulgence Escape Measures delivers, yet Jet Black's aesthetic strikes me as far too advanced to be deemed as a mere throwback.

Between all the gritty and gauzy guitar grandeur, the record offers some quieter respites in the form of "Engine Up" and "Elevator," but in toto, Escape... is a sparks-flying corker, blistering and beautiful. Many happy returns. You can sample "Daydreamer" and "Control" via the link below. A limited vinyl edition run is available through Jet Black's website, but if you're looking for more instant gratification, iTunes, Emusic and Amazon have you covered. - Neal Agneta - Wilfully Obscure

"Jet Black - Escape Measures"

There has been a resurgence over the past few years of Shoegaze style rock. While many of the more known bands of this style tend to mix it with other genres at this point (Alcest mixing black metal or Ringo Deathstar with some electronic music). Needless to say most bands take what is useful to them from the genre and move on generally involving the use of reverb in the vocals and guitar the choice to mix the vocals low or the use and abuse of guitar pedals.

Jet Black make note of their influences in the press release as involving early shoegaze acts particularly The Jesus And Mary Chain. How does this band fit into the shoegaze resurgence? Well im not sure really to be honest. Jet Black seem to play a style closer to a sadly forgotten 90’s alternative act Failure. Noted Failure also had some signposts relating to shoegaze they were more focused on building smart hooks and equally smart and effective lyrics. So this to a certain end leaves Jet Black somewhat outside of the shoegaze genre at its most simple.

The record leads with “6am” which starts with somewhat heavy riff followed shortly by a vocal line that seems to resemble one Dave Grohl. This leaning towards 90’s alternarock doesn’t stop throughout the record. The band plays smart somewhat catchy tunes that do more to lean on the vocals than most first wave shoegaze would’ve wanted to. This allows the band to firmly step away from being a shoegaze band. So that leaves us with a band that is influenced by the first wave of shoegaze but seems to almost avoid showing it in full. This is not necessarily a bad thing as the band does a good job to make the songs build and soar to the sky without seeming to ridiculous.

The production is simple and focused on clarity making this a nice surprise. Much of shoegaze was over driven and didn’t focus on clarity as much as atmosphere. The band makes many mentions of being a completely D.I.Y. project and for that i have to give it up to them because without doing any research the recording makes it very hard to tell at all.

Simply put given the right eyes noticing them Jet Black could do well for themselves. While they as a band sound rather young on this record one can hear some smart songwriting. This could be the beginning of something pretty great but sadly it is just beginning.

7.0 / 10
by Jon E. on Monday 27th February 2012 - Scene Point Blank

"Nouveautés musicales - 6 décembre 2011"

Jet Black
Escape Measures
Lors du (très arrosé) party de Noël de la job il y a deux semaines, j’ai fait la connaissance de Stéphanie, designer pour une firme située pas trop loin de la nôtre sur notre étage. Tu joues de la basse? Pour Jet Black? Connais pas. Quel style? Rock? À la Ride et Swervedriver? Intéressant… j’aimerais bien entendre ça.

Le lundi suivant, elle me remet le vinyle d’Escape Measures. Je t’en redonne des news, que j’lui ai dit. Les news sont très bonnes. Jet Black fait du guitar rock fort bien foutu, sans artifice, comme on en jouissait dans les années 90. Les références shoegaziennes tiennent la route, mais retirez l’aspect vaporeux associé au genre. À ce compte, Jet Black est davantage Swervedriver que Ride. On pense aussi à Sugar (groupe de Bob Mould, ex-Hüsker Dü) et Sonic Youth sur certains passages. Petit bémol : le vocal est à peine audible dans le mix. Voulu?

Ne voyez pas dans mes propos un simple et bête coup de pouce promo pour une collègue de travail. Escape Measures est un très bon album d’un groupe de Québec à surveiller. Paraît d’ailleurs qu’il sera au Cercle au début janvier pour l’enregistrement d’un épisode de l’émission Lézarts Studio à Vox. -

"Nouveautés CD-DVD du 29 Novembre 2011"

''-Upon first listen, I felt like I was thrown back in the 90's. An album without pretensions, a well balanced dose of distortion and emotions while being very effective. It clings to every listener.- F.Valenti.'' - François Valenti


Escape Measures - LP - October 21st 2011



From the beginning, the cards were laid on the table. Jet Black had to be a band with integrity and inspired by a precise and inalienable artistic ideal. Ultimately, it was all about merging as perfectly as possible a common passion for american and british alternative rock of the late 80’s and early 90’s. The group achieved their supreme goal by generating “ walls of sound ” with largely saturated guitars while relying on a highly dynamic rhythm section punctuated with abrasive melodies. All this takes place in 2008, when Jet Black officially became whole.

Since their first album , Escape Measures (2011), Jet Black has been able to take part in a large array of major international events such as South by Southwest (SXSW) and North by Northeast (NXNE). They were also the opening act for Melissa Auf Der Maur’s show at Envol et Macadam in 2011. Simultaneously, Escape Measures kept gathering praise from numerous critics including Jack Rabid, famous founder of New-York based magazine The Big Takeover and Neal Agneta, founder of the reputed Wilfully Obscure webzine. Jet Black’s first album also drew positive attention from Alan Cross, former CBC host and author of several specialized works on the history of 90’s alternative rock. In Québec, Escape Measures also received a warm welcome from Nicolas Pelletier, editor for both Emoragei magazine and, claiming that “some will remember the good days of Foo Fighters right from the first song, 6AM [and that] the guitars’ dynamic stole the show with its variations of intensity.”

Jet Black is currently promoting Escape Measures while parallelly producing a second full length to be released in the course of 2013.

Band Members