JADIS – No Fear Of Looking Down (2016)
JADIS are a melodic rock / progressive band hailing from the south of England founded by guitarist & vocalist Gary Chandler in the late ’80s, with their debut being regarded as one of the best ever in the then fresh neo-prog movement. “No Fear Of Looking Down” is their brand new album, a true representation of the sound that made ’em famous: strong sense of melody, fine guitar lines which feel deceptively simple at first but hide the delicate and complex tapestry of sounds that is Chandler’s trademark, and the tight musicanship.
For the un-initiated, Jadis were a late entry in the progressive rock revival (aka neo-prog) movement of ’80s England, coming a few years after the debut albums of Marillion, IQ and Pendragon.
However, over the years I feel like Jadis has become a distinctive musical entity that doesn’t fit completely into any one ‘movement’. I once heard their music described as “prog meets melodic rock / power pop”, and that’s a fairly good assessment.
With most songs in the five minute range, Jadis have crafted an unusual style of composition which can sometimes be quite lush and proggy, while somehow still remaining tuneful, concise & accessible.
Whatever the musical roots may be, the way in which they interpret and execute those influences is really quite unique. Chandler is one of the very few guitarists that have a style totally of his own.
Jadis have a sound like no other, with the dual-tracked vocals and the focus on the guitar. Keyboards and bass have their role in all bands, but here work to provide a backdrop to allow Gary to fly, something he does extremely well indeed.
Of course there are times when all of the guys have their turn in the spotlight, but “No Fear Of Looking Down” is all about the guitar. And most the guitar riffs / solos are Melodic Rock oriented.
With a fine production & mix handled by Chandler himself and powerful performances, the songs on “No Fear Of Looking Down” flow evenly without lows, with a perfect album length around the 45 minutes. All the tracks are good, elegant and with strong sense of melody.
The album should be quite satisfying to long-time followers, but may also provide a good jumping-on point for those who are new to the band. I’d tag this proggy Melodic Rock, but as said, Jadis doesn’t fit completely into any genre.
It’s just very good music, and I recommend it.
01 – Listen To Me
02 – Where Am I
03 – Just Let It Happen
04 – A Thousand Staring Eyes
05 – Change Of The Season
06 – Seeds Of Doubt
07 – Abandoned
08 – No Fear Of Looking Down
Gary Chandler – guitars, vocals, keyboards
Martin Orford – keyboard solos, hurdy gurdy, backing vocals
Andy Marlow – bass guitar
Steve Christey – drums, percussion
BUY IT !