“I’m so brilliant, and you’re so, so, so pretty”, Jet Banana’s flamboyant frontman Fred boasts on ‘Baby I’m Down’, the lead single of the power rock quartet’s 2016 album Master Is The Enemy. A highlight of this introspective concept album, the track shows the band’s keen ear for a well-crafted melody and their ability to draw influence from their rock-‘n’-roll predecessors. Above all, though, it highlights their wonderful sense of fun; not many bands can pull off slipping in a Spanish lyric mid-verse, or munching on a banana in their music video before nonchalantly spitting it out again.
Quirky, then, is arguably the best way to describe this self-christened “power-rock” outfit hailing from Paris. This quirkiness is carried forward into their latest single ‘Superqueen’, the band’s first release since their debut album two years ago, although it comes concealed under a layer of newfound menace.
The eerie introduction of the track hints at a darker, perhaps more intense Jet Banana – its thin, screeching guitar is soon replaced by a fat, punchy riff and some tight rhythm work from drummer Frédéric. There’s more than a hint of Presidents of the USA about the band here as they explore slick, danceable pop-rock.
The verse then builds to an equally energetic chorus, albeit diminished slightly by some questionable lyrics; the line “she’s just a bitch” comes off less rock-‘n’-roll than it does plain distasteful. Jet Banana’s evolution through the years becomes evident once again, with the Alice Cooper-esque glam-rock of ‘Superqueen’s hook miles away from the bouncy blues-rock of their earlier track, ‘Love Is Away’, for instance.
Still, Jet Banana retain the enthusiastic tongue-in-cheekiness that they’ve always had, although ‘Superqueen’ gives off a decidedly darker vibe than the one we’re used to from the French quartet – it’s the sound of a band trying to move on from its previous works and go in a new direction.
And if that doesn’t do it for you, they created a ‘Superqueen’-themed minigame to go with the release of the single. It’s all charming, but it will be interesting to see where Jet Banana go from here, as they have to explore this new sound further to create something truly unique. Well, even if they don’t, the unfaltering charisma and musical talent of these cheeky Parisian chappies more than makes up for it.
Listen to ‘Superqueen’ down below.