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November 2008
Released: 2008, Prog-Rock Records
Rating: 1.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Jaugernaut started out in 1978 when a bunch of friends from high school decided to form a band and play covers. The debut album was released in 1980 and was called JAUGERNAUT with the follow up, TAKE ‘EM THERE, released 2 years later. Both albums were described as 70’s style progressive rock. The band was put on ice after only two outputs. In 1999 band leader Jim Johnston received an e-mail from a fan who wondered if Jaugernaut was still alive. Johnston looked up the old albums and found out that they went for 150 dollars on EBay and thought that it was a brilliant idea to awaken the band again. The former band members weren’t too keen on the idea so Johnston took matters in his own hands and recorded the new Jaugernaut album by himself.

Johnston does most of the work by himself but he has gotten help from Tyler Johnston on keyboards and Jim Brammer and Marty Prue on lead guitar. I haven’t heard the bands earlier albums so it’s hard to know if the band has gotten back to their roots or if they have done anything completely new. However the music is progressive, epic and melodic rock music and the music is complex with twists and turns. There are a few 70’s references in the music but the fresh production balances it perfectly so it doesn’t feel old and boring. As always when it comes to progressive music it takes a while before you can grasp it entirely.

I have huge problems with the material, the 7 songs feel really uneven and it’s a theme album that tells an interpretive and speculative story of the origins of evil. I am so fed up with theme and concept albums. Most of the songs feel so boring and anonymous. I have really tried to find something positive with CONTRA-MANTRA but I can’t.
Track Listing

The Damage Is Done
Better Living Thru Anarchy
The Hard Way
A Different World
All I See Is Gray


Jim Johnston – lead vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keyboards
Tyler Johnston – keyboards, programming
Jim Brammer – lead guitar
Marty Prue – lead guitar

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» Contra-Mantra
by Anders Sandvall

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