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Life On Mars

Shadows In A Jar

Review by Gary Hill

This isn't precisely progressive rock, but there are enough space rock and other angles to lean me in that direction for classification. Then when you add in the fact that both Fernando Perdomo and Billy Sherwood appear on the album, I think it fits. It should be noted that Perdomo is one half of the duo that makes up the band (with Earl Kayoss being the other half), while Sherwood is a guest here. This has plenty of mainstream rock along with psychedelia, glam and space rock in the mix, Yet, in some ways I am reminded of The Strawbs here at times for some reason. Overall, I think this is a dynamic and effective set of music.

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Track by Track Review
This comes in rocking. It feels sort of like a cross between glam rock and something Robert Calvert might have done.
The Key
With more of a bluesy hard rocking sound, this works in some psychedelic and space rocking angles. The guitar work is positively on fire. The instrumental section really brings that space rock thing to bear.
Stray Dog
While this comes in with plenty of blues in the mix, there is also a healthy helping of both psychedelia and space rock. I can definitely hear that Calvert kind of thing here.
After All
Trippy and more space rock oriented, this is more on the melodic end of the spectrum as it gets going. There are some proggy, yet guitar rock based, changes built into this.
This song begins with Neil Armstrong's famous quote on the moon. Mellow, acoustic based sounds take over from there. This balladic tune features female vocals instead of the male ones we've heard so far. The instrumental section later has a world or bluegrass sound to it at first. It grows out to melodic, proggy rocking stuff from there. The vocals eventually come back in over the top of this more rock based arrangement.
The male vocals are back here, bringing more of that psychedelic rock edge with them. I'm reminded of both Calvert and David Bowie on this song.
And Besides
That David Bowie thing is very much on display here. This is a much proggier piece of music. I really love the guitar work on this thing, but the whole song is classy.
She’s Already Gone
More of a rocker, this has some intriguing textures. It's part psychedelic rocker, part glam tune and all indie sounding. The guitar solo on this is pure magic.
Rock People
We're into much harder rocking territory here. This is a powerhouse.
Nancy’s Finger
The introduction on this one is a trippy psychedelic section. This turns toward more rocking psychedelia with prog leanings beyond that point.
Only One
A bit on the mellower end of the spectrum, this has plenty of prog and psychedelia in the mix.
Hurricane Jane
Another that comes in on the more melodic side, this gets into some spacey territory. This has some glam rock like guitar soloing, too. The guitar soloing really makes the track in some ways.
Shadows in a Jar
The title track is a hard rocker that gets well set into both psychedelic and space rock zones.
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