The advent of the internet and the breakup of the once de facto monopoly that a few labels had on the market has come a host of new and old, all out there for anyone fed up with the lackluster and tired content of FM radio. Among the old is a face that many will not recognize today, but whose history goes all the way back to the 1970s. For all of the plainness that one might expect from a name like JEFF JONES, this former 70s/Glam rocker has put together a pretty solid collection of Hard Rock that stylistically resembles his older projects, but has the benefit and clarity of a modern production job.
Combining a fair amount of old guard British influences from the likes of DEEP PURPLE, a subtle trace of AD/DC, and a whole lot of LA sleaze, “Spaced” is quite a fun, albeit tried and true ride down memory lane. When hearing safely crafted rockers such as “No Satisfaction Blues” and “Miss Tragedy”, one can’t help but take note of the obvious MOTLEY CRUE and GREAT WHITE influences. Things get kicked up a notch in aggression with “Hate Me”, which is heavy enough to qualify as one of DOKKEN’S nastier songs during their brief stint into groovier Heavy Metal circa 2002-2004. But the true highlight of this glory fest of Hard Rock orthodoxy is “Not Your Love”, which cooks with the intensity of early 80s JUDAS PRIEST, though the vocal attack out of Jones has a bit more grit than banshee to it.
Though surprises tend to be few with an album like this, Jones has put together a solid collection of catchy songs with some accomplished lead work that just manages to get out of the olden blues box that Jimmy Page never full abandoned and that Blackmore and Uli Jon Roth were among the first to really step out of. There is definitely an added charm to the fact that this is an independently realized product, put together by a musician on his own label, which was all but unheard of during Jones’ earliest work. Anyone who fell in love with that segment of the 80s Glam scene that was a bit more conservative and stuck close to their Rock roots will definitely get some mileage out of this. Yeah, it’s been done before, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done again a few more times in a couple of other ways.
(Online June 5, 2011)