(originally from August 13, 2009)
While hardly unknown by the underground pop punk community, Sheboygan, Wisconsin's Jetty Boys are still pretty new with only one album under their belt, and relatively new to me. I believe I first heard the band a year or so on Ben Weasel's old ESPN Radio show and wasn't that impressed. Weasel played a song called "Telephone Operator" from their 2008 self-titled debut on Rally Records, and it just reminded me of a watered down version of the power pop sound that their label-mates The Leftovers were pursuing.
Now fast forward to 2009, as fate would have it would be The Leftovers who make me re-examine the band. It's the Tuesday after Insubordination Fest and after missing The Leftovers set during the festival I go to the Middle East Club to see the Teen Idols and Leftovers with opening act The Jetty Boys.
While The Leftovers set was pretty distilled of most of their early punkish stuff in favor of newer slicker power pop songs, The Jetty Boys gave the best performance of all the bands on the bill with songs tenfold better than what I had previously heard. They also gave away free promo CD with songs from their upcoming album "Sheboygan".
The sampler includes three songs, the first two "Reflectors" and "I'll Be Fine" are fast paced pop punk songs that bring to mind 90's Lookout! bands like The Riverdales, Green Day, Screeching Weasel, and The Queers, while the third song "St. Patrick's Day" is a slower ballad-esque song in the same manner. However unlike most modern bands who draw these comparisons the Jetty Boys songs wouldn't stick out as a poor man's sound alike that could be a b-side or filler on aforementioned bands album. A song like I'll Be Fine is just as good as "2,000 Light Years Away" or "Making You Cry", and better than a lot of The Riverdales (who the Jetty Boys recently opened for) catalogue.
With The Guts and Leftovers leaving Rally Records for larger labels, The Jetty Boys have now stepped in as the labels premier band, and if this sampler is any indication of how the full album is they could easily eclipse both of them.