Jet Age

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This was the Norwegian surprise hit record of 1997. Four stylish, retro-looking suit-clad young men playing instrumental music sounding like the Beatles never had happened. Stylistically, it is totally impeccable. Each song is arranged, played, and produced with excellent taste. It sounds like it's from the '60s, only with better sound. Of course, that would be what they wanted to achieve in the first place. It starts cheekily, with a cover version of the theme from the Bruce Lee movie with the same name, "Enter the Dragon." That's not the only time you'll get the feeling of having heard the tune before, though. Their hits "Rubber City Revolution" and "Mr. Wild Guitar" resemble the theme from Get Carter and Dick Dale's "Surf Beat," respectively. The star of the album is Knut Schreiner; with his brilliantly played guitar dominating throughout the entire record, he is also the main songwriter. He's versatile too -- he does everything from delicate, understated strumming on an acoustic guitar to the wild leads on "Satan's Little Helper" and "Hava Negilah." For an instrumental album, Jet Age is extraordinarily catchy and accessible. It's surely not for everyone, but this is a great record for anyone into instrumental, guitar-oriented music.

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