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Jane Getter Premonition


Review by Gary Hill

I'd say that there is a good chance this album will make my "best of 2021" list. It's a strong album in general, but it's also very creative and inventive. I don't think this can really be pinned down to one genre with elements of progressive rock, heavy metal and fusion all showing up here. This is one of those disc that has a sound that's unique to itself.

It is also worth noting that there are some very interesting musicians here. In addition to Jane Getter herself (guitar and vocals), Alex Skolnick (Testament and more) provides guitar on a lot of the music. Adam Holzman (Steven Wilson's band) plays keyboards on every song except the guitar solo. Bassist extraordinaire Stu Hamm lends his skills to many of the tracks. Mark Egan (Pat Metheny band, Elements) is on the tracks that Hamm sits out. Drum legend Chad Wackerman is also on many of the tracks, while Gene Lake handles the sticks on the rest. Living Colour's Vernon Reid guests on guitar on one tune. Randy McStine (of Lo-Fi Resistance) adds his vocals to a couple songs.

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Track by Track Review
A metallic guitar sound brings this into being. The cut shifts toward fusion for a while from there as it works through some intriguing changes. Then more metal takes control before it all twists proggy. Those various elements all seem to compete for dominance. The winner is the listener as this is an adventurous instrumental piece with a lot of drama and style.
Lessons Learned
Jazz, blues and rock all seem to be on the menu here. This has some cool melodic vocals and a great proggy groove to a lot of it. The cut shifts toward epic metal in a variant movement around the halfway mark. The organ solo section later really brings a retro jazz vibe.
I dig the jazzy, fusion sort of a groove that starts this. The tune turns more hard rocking at points. It has such a meaty, cool musical texture. It really is a genre bender.
Alien Refugee
Acoustic guitar brings this number into being. The arrangement fills out as a rather balladic one. I really love the dreamy, soaring sort of vocal delivery on this tune. This is more straight-line number. It's more pure prog than some of the rest, too.
Still Here
Dramatic and intriguing instrumental concepts paint sounds that are hard to categorize except as more complex than they sound. This works through some changes as it continues to evolve. It eventually fires out into some hard rocking zones for a killer instrumental movement. There is some incendiary guitar work as it keeps growing. With continued twists and turns leading into it, I love the organ solo. The vocals return after some of that, but there are more bursts of organ exploration even after they reappear. This continues exploring sonic zones with a dropped back proggy break that has sounds of a GPS device in the mix.
A blues rock concept is brought by the vocals as this song starts. There are jazz and proggy textures built into the instrumental arrangement. This cut has an intriguing mix of sounds that brings rock, jazz and more to play. Yet, it's all done in a song that's rather catchy.
Queen Of Spies
There are definitely some hints of King Crimson on this instrumental in some ways. That is tempered with jazz and hard rock edges. I like the expressive guitar work early on this a lot. That aspect really explodes out for a while into some killer angular zones later. Then the track drops to a mellower jazzy concept from there. A twist toward metal emerges beyond that.
This classy piece sits at an intersection between jazz and rock music. There are some forays more into one zone or the other at points. This has some great melodies and a vocal line that really delivers the cool. The instrumental section really brings both metal and fusion concepts to the fore.
Safe House
The closer is a guitar solo. Delivered on acoustic, this has a lot of intriguing exploration. I like it quite a bit, but I think that it might have served the album better if it had come before, "Disappear," and that one had been the final tune.
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