Wow. We’re pretty strict here at Sentinel Daily on not reviewing albums once they’ve been out for over a month, but occasionally an album slips through the net through no fault of it’s own. And this is one such album. On The Rise has been languishing in our ‘for review’ file, unnoticed, for a couple of months, and we’re delighted to right that wrong here and now and tell you all about it’s righteous noise…
Hailing from Calella on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, Imperial Jade, despite their hirsuit visages, are very young indeed. And yet, miraculously, they appear to inhabit a World where it’s always high Summer and the year is forever 1974. This album is a wonderful and wondrous trip back to the days when Led Zeppelin, Wishbone Ash and their ilk ruled the roost and, despite it’s retro nature, it’s a remarkably fresh take on a part of space and time that’s oft revisited by bands and even oftener messed up.
Arnau Ventura has a magnificent voice, redolent of the greats yet very much it’s own beast. His performance on the laidback Glory Train is quite superb, as is the guitar playing of Alex Pañero and Hugo Nubiola, who together trade licks like a worshipful double act made in heaven. If Mick Ralphs and Jimmy Page had ever played together, Glory Train would have been the result.
In fact Zeppelin at their most relaxed is a frequent reference point here – and when the band embark on the woozy blues of Lullaby In Blue you’ll be convinced you’re listening to something undiscovered from around the time of Led Zeppelin III, such is the immersive authenticity the band has striven to achieve within their chosen theatre of operations.
Keep Me Singing is a light and funky psychedelic workout, taking the listener back to the American West Coast of the late sixties, with bassist Ricard Turró adding some nice, jaunty four string work to the mix whilst Nubiola trades his axe for a Hammond organ – with similarly pleasing results, whilst the rocking Heat Wave turns the temperature up with the band mixing Wings and Bad Company in strident fashion.
A great album, then, and certainly one that would appear to fit in for the current popularity of ‘new classic’ rock – Imperial Jade certainly deserve to be at the forefront of that particular movement, and if you’ve an ear for superbly executed melodic hard rock of the old school then you’re going to be listening to this for some while to come – I guarantee it.
On The Rise is out now.