"Jughead" (Inside Out / Ear Candy Records; 2002)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

With the demise of Platypus, the formation of two bands came to fruition -- The Jelly Jam was one and Jughead was the other. Whilst The Jelly Jam has already been reviewed on the pages of Rough Edge Jughead has not. Jughead features the talents of King's X guitarist/vocalist Ty Tabor and Planet X keyboardist Derek Sherinian, as well as the Bissonette brothers (Matt on bass and Gregg on drums). This self-titled release is a good amalgamation of four talented individuals into a cohesive unit.

"Jughead" features eleven quirky pop-rock songs that are easy to listen to and easy to remember. Usually that combination sounds an instant death-knell for most Rough Edge readers, but be advised that Jughead has the ability to stoke pleasing memories of music's simpler facets, even better hooks, and lighthearted lyrics. Although touches of Ty Tabor's progressive rock leanings make their way into the songs, "Jughead" is by and large a straight-forward affair. While some of the material on this self-titled release seems rushed, the songs themselves are sturdy and (as I mentioned before) quite memorable. The upbeat "Snow In Tahiti" and the humorous "Halfway To Home" are highlights from the disc's first half while the sturdy rocker "Be Like You" and the sprawling "Paging Willie Mays" are the gems from the disc's second half.

There isn't much left to say about Ty Tabor -- he's proven himself as a guitarist, song-writer, and creative force many times over. Keyboardist Derek Sherinian's playing is understated and perfectly fitting for the songs -- sometimes you don't even notice that keyboards are present (trust me, the keys are there), but there's no doubt that the sound of Jughead would be different without it. The Bissonette brothers are ace session musicians and they prove their worth with their solid performances on this release -- no wonder they're in constant demand.

Even though Jughead and their self-titled debut won't appeal to fans of the metal and hard rock genres there is no denying the instant appeal of Jughead's classic pop-rock sensibilities and strong songs.

"Jughead" was produced by Ty Tabor and Jughead.

Jughead: Ty Tabor on guitar, Derek Sherinian on keyboards, Matt Bissonette on vocals and bass, and Gregg Bissonette on vocals and drums.

For more information visit http://www.kramerskorner.com/kingsx/discography/side/jughead.htm

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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