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Written by: Pete Robson

Private Jet Flashback is the new album from Essex duo The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco. Distorted guitar and heavy drumming starts proceedings, but before I can make any misplaced assumptions the intro mellows turning this opening track into a cheerful pop song, which is very-much the genre of the album from here on in. Track two is a display of creative song crafting, unmistakably this song is about a couple (Jackie & Norm) who were hairdressers to the stars back in 1965. This song makes very specific references which are full of detail, despite this the song refrains from telling a story. I enjoy listening to this style of songwriting, it generates a similar emotion one may experience when gazing at a painting. Full of all the vital ingredients to create a picture, whilst leaving room for one to imagine their own conclusions. This unique perspective of song writing is abundant throughout the album and is complemented by killer riffs and unforgettable hooks. You need not look any further than track three ‘Clean Break’ for a prime example of this. The guitar riff provides structure, reliably supporting each verse and even the guitar break. And if a good riff isn’t enough to keep you whistling through the day, this song also includes a vocal hook that will get you singing too. You’ll find this little gem at the end of each chorus, with great vocal rhythm the line “I’ll make a clean break of it” are delivered.


Throughout this album there is an overwhelming familiarity. When I hear track nine ‘Not Brenda’s Song’ my suspicions are confirmed. The end of each verse concludes with the line “this isn’t Brenda’s song” this is sung with the same delivery and harmony one would expect from Steely Dan. With this realization I relistened to the album, discovering that each song is dripping with Steely Dan embellishments. This raises the question; is there a place in my CD collection for an album by a band who sound a bit like Steely Dan? After all I could just put a good old Steely Dan album on instead. Well, the vocal may sound like Donald Fagon, but there are plenty of different aspects that The 1957 Tail-Fin Fiasco have adopted to keep their sound fresh. The electric guitars have a rich sound which gives the album a slight rock undertone, and as previously stated the unique perspective from which the songs are written is very compelling. So although this album may have been heavily influenced by Steely Dan, it has enough charm to stand alone on its own merit.


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