Monday, October 22, 2012

Forgotten Gems-Jester


Never heard of this band until just the other day when I stumbled upon a download of their 1985 EP. According to Encyclopaedia Metallum this was their only release and they were from LA.  Upon listening to this I certainly guessed their place of origin before reading it. There is definitely a mid-80's LA hard rock on some of these songs maybe not far off from the likes of Ratt or Keel. However that's not all these guys do here. While something like "Who's to blame" definitely sounds like other LA hard rock bands of the day not all of the other songs are as simple. Opener "Jailbreak" has more of a hard rock meets early 80's Judas Priest sound complete with a shredding solo. "Let me love you" is a slower song with the early parts sounding a little like Ratt, but again they toss in plenty of squealing guitars and it manages to be a hard hitting slow song that never loses it's focus. "Don't be a fool" also starts slow and actually reminds me some of both early Rush and Diamond Head before settling into a more medium paced run. Only this song never dips totally into hard rock, but instead runs along between hard rock and metal in the second half. The last song "Follower" is perhaps the heaviest track on the album. Again they go between hard rock and metal and make it sound completely natural. Now for the record if you read some of my past views you may know that I have a love for mid-80's bands that combined metal and hard rock like WASP, Lizzy Borden, Witch, Axtion, Vyper and others. So Jester were right up my alley. Since there isn't much background on these guys I don't know all of their back story. Maybe they got into NWOBHM and other classic metal in the early 80's and then became interested in LA  hard rock acts once they became more prominent as the 80's went along. Or maybe there were member of Jester who like Priest and Maiden while others liked acts like Motley Crue and Ratt so their music was a result of mixed influences. Whatever the case this is a fine album. Again another band where it's a shame that they didn't keep going on because I would have liked to hear what they could have done in  a full length format.

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