• Jet
  • Dirty Sweet EP (Elektra) 2003 
  • Get Born (Elektra) 2003 

Let’s just get it out there: Not a single original idea can be wrung from this Melbourne quartet, or its big fat hit album, Get Born. Not one. The name was lifted from a ’70s British glam band, the album cover consciously apes the Beatles’ Revolver and Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” has been looking for its bass line ever since these shaggy Aussies appropriated it (most likely via the Strokes) for their breakout single, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.” Although preposterously marketed as alternative, Jet makes the Black Crowes look like friggin’ visionaries as they cuddle up to McCartneyism (“Look What You’ve Done,” “Radio Song”), dine on a Beggars Banquet (“Move On”), discover who’s Who (“Get What You Need”) and plug into homeland heroes AC/DC (“Cold Hard Bitch”).

Producer Dave Sardy (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marilyn Manson, Dandy Warhols) injects the fast tracks with enough testosterone — especially the extra punky “Take It or Leave It” — to make them worthy radio rockers, but the group (guitarist Cam Muncey, bassist Mark Wilson, vocalist Nick Cester and his brother Chris Cester on drums) are serious suckers for the power ballad. The humdrum “Come Around Again” features keyboardist Billy Preston, and “Lazy Gun” steals the beat from Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2” only to degenerate into a less adventuresome Brit-pop whine-fest. The gripes continue in “Timothy,” an incompatible Daddy Done Wrong tearjerker that ends up jerking something else when Nick starts bleating about missed birthdays and other fruitless stabs at sentimentality. When Get Born forgets the heart and goes straight for the crotch, it actually succeeds in its own recycled stupidity — but that doesn’t make it any less stupid.

The pre-album Dirty Sweet features “Take It or Leave It,” “Cold Hard Bitch,” “Move On,” and “Rollover DJ.”

[Floyd Eberhard]