Jane – Together (1972)

Jane_Together3.5 out of 5 Stars!

From Hannover, Germany, Jane introduced itself to the world with Together, a six-song collection that featured a fairly decent merging of blues-inspired Hard Rock and rather “jamming style” Progressive Rock, not unlike other Krautrock groups of the early ’70s, including Birth Control, Gomorrha, Eloy, Frumpy, Epitaph, etc.

The balance between guitar and Hammond is rather even, with no one instrument truly dominating the overall proceedings, and the interchange between guitarist Klaus Hess and keyboardist Werner Nodalny is one of the band’s strengths. As a fan of these merged aforementioned genres might expect, the three shorter tracks (“Wind,” “Try To Find,” and “Together”) are more straightforward Hard Rock, whereas the longer tunes (“Daytime,” “Spain,” and “Hangman”) display Jane’s mild flirtation with a Progressive Rock style, where Psychedelic touches also infiltrate.

Note, I said “mild flirtation” since the band would further develop and include Prog touches more often on future albums, whereas on this debut, with mostly simple chord patterns, nothing too adventurous being performed, the Prog-Rock factors are less commanding, reminiscent of how other principally Hard Rock groups such as early Lucifer’s Friend, Mountain, or Wishbone Ash, for example, also toyed with the Prog-Rock genre.

Regardless, Together proved a fairly solid introduction to Jane, giving hints of even better things to come.

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Jane – III (1974)

Jane_32 out of 5 Stars!

A HUGE step down from their first two albums. Instead of progressing from where they left off, they seem to be regressing. Their first album contained some interesting Hard Rock mixed with a touch of Progressive Rock, even though the songs were made up of mostly 3-chord patterns, nothing at all adventurous, but pleasant enough. Then the second album expanded their style a bit, added more variety when it came to the keyboard sounds, and the chord patterns became a tad more developed, the songs more structured and adventurous.

And then this? For pity’s sake, the opening track “Comin’ Again” is nothing more than nearly 10 minutes of the same two chords played over and over and over and over again. Boring!  This is not even close to Progressive Rock, as this album is labeled at different music-review websites, but instead the band comes off as a Hard Rock-ish “garage band” whose members seem to be just learning their instruments. Lame, boring, and scary how a band that at first showed promise and steady progression in their development could suddenly have regressed to the point where they come off as nothing more than amateurs, and untalented ones at that.

Thankfully the band bounced back with their next release. Meanwhile, this is one album to avoid, a glaring mistake, a jarring interlude in their otherwise decent catalogue of early releases.