Ayn Rand used art as a metaphor for political and economic philosophy, playing out situations in which the arrogant, bold and uncompromising artist suffers within a society unprepared to accept or understand the work's unparalleled brilliance. That total lack of compromise might be great for art, but not so great in terms of peacefully co-existing in a pluralistic society in which people have different opinions and access to resources.
Art, especially music, doesn't have to be singular and uncompromising. Kurt Vonnegut wrote of the importance of "the school," a community of like-minded individuals who inspire and challenge each other's work, building a movement larger and more powerful than anything they could produce individually.
These two opposing visions of art were what Jump Jets brought to mind in an uptown basement over the weekend.
It cannot be argued that the precision and furor they bring to their music is anything less than stellar. Bullet-sharp blasts of distortion are paired with rapid-fire percussion and snarling vocals that transition seamlessly to delicate atmospheric passages and velvet smooth arpeggios.
But it's also difficult to find anything instrumental, lyrical or thematic that clearly distinguishes them from other post-hardcore or screamo groups like From First to Last, Thrice or Hawthorne Heights. They play just as tight, scream just as loud and twinkle just as soft. Jump Jets would appear to be of the "school" philosophy of art.
Whether that's seen as a good or a bad thing would have far more to do with what value system a listener is packing upon going into the show.
But whether someone considers them a derisive, unoriginal rip-off or a single player in a larger movement or scene, what can't be denied is that they rock—hard and loud. Boise basements beware: Jump Jets may shake loose your foundations.