Jaugernaut - "Contra-Mantra"
(Prog Rock Records PRR490)
From Aural Innovations #40 (September 2008)
This band has a story. They started out in 1978 and ended up releasing two records in 1980 and 1982 that went onto become quite rare underground prog items. In 1999, after a fan contacts the main man, Jim Johnston, he decides to try to put the band back together and here we are in 2008 with another record. Wow... Since I have never heard the first two, I can't say anything about them. The CD is part one of a two part project that tells an interpretive and speculative story of the origin of EVIL. The CD starts with Anthem, a long 12 minute track with many moods. It has a long instrumental start before the spacey vocal section (cool and powerful vocals). This is followed by some nice lead guitar playing and the keyboard driven part. The Damage is Done follows and this is a more straightforward poppy 70's rock song. Better Living through Anarchy is a bit darker to start but then it becomes also a bit too mainstream rock music for me. The Hard Way starts with an electronic sort of funky beat and some nice guitar as the 15 minute track begins to evolve. The next section features acoustic guitar and the sound of rain or water. The mid vocal section is one again quite spacey before the more mainstream section that follows. These long songs are for sure the best on the CD. Vanity is a sort of foot stomping and happy track. A Different World is a bit psychedelic and has some nice guitar parts. The CD ends with All I see is Gray, which is a long ballad and very emotional. Well, there you have it. Success, you be the judge.
You can find more information from the band's web site at http://www.myspace.com/jaugernautad
Check out the record label web site at: http://www.progrockrecords.com
Reviewed by Scott Heller