Mar 012024
Screaming Jets

“We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” was, like, only Taylor Swift‘s fourth biggest hits of the 10s despite going six times Platinum in the US and nine times Platinum in Australia. Somehow, three other singles were bigger in both countries. But it’s clear this one made an impact, because old school Aussie rock band The Screaming Jets have covered it ahead of Swift’s Australian leg of her Eras Tour.

The Screaming Jets are one of those bands that are huge in their native country but kind of unknown outside of it. They have released nine albums and numerous singles since 1989 (infamously the year of Swift’s birth), and they have multiple Top 40 Aussie hits (including one Top 5) but zero chart presence in the rest of the world. They would seem like an unlikely band to cover Swift except that her popularity is world-conquering at this point. Legendary Australian radio station Triple J assembled a group of Australian bands that would unexpectedly cover Swift ahead of her latest tour of Australia and The Screaming Jets answered the call.

The cover is pretty faithful, as rock band covers of pop songs go. There’s a live electric guitar instead of the looped acoustic guitar. Lead singer Dave Gleeson’s voice is gruff and almost punky, which is a complete change of tone from the original. He sings it a little more straightforward, with a little less performative emotion on the brief asides.

There’s a guitar solo! And a brief breakdown. And the commentary about breakups is gone, which makes a lot of sense. It’s just a straight ahead old school rock cover of one of the biggest hits of the 2010s. And it works pretty well.

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