Imperial Jade - 'Please Welcome Imperial Jade' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 18, 2016    
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A very pleasant surprise indeed.

With a name like Imperial Jade you could be mistaken for thinking that you were about to be listening to the latest offering from a Prog Rock outfit; but no, what we've got here is a Spanish Hard Rock combo who have come up with a rather dandy line in retro, Bluesy Rock topped off with a dash of the likes of The Temperance Movement and Rival Sons thrown in for good measure.

A young band in terms of age, the members range from eighteen to twenty-three years old, but their tender years belie the fact that they play a mature brand of Rock that more seasoned players would be proud of. Borne from the ashes of the band Blackway, IJ released an EP in 2014 before releasing this – their full debut album at the back end of 2015.

The opener 'Satyr' sets things off in excellent style with a song that swaggers along and offers up some chunky sounding guitar with vocalist Arnau Ventura giving it his all. 'Mr Rock 'N' Roll', albeit not the most imaginative title, still belts along with a real Southern feel to it.

At times I was reminded of a young Aerosmith, with the album's busy sound, authentic sounding seventies' riffage and some real catchy hooks too; this is evident in particular on the track 'Highway' and the eight-minute long 'Camel Ride'. The latter is the most impressive piece that showcases the band's prowess and real atmospherics, giving a sense that the band has really studied the seventies Rock scene and taken on board all the positive influences from that golden era.

Never sounding derived, Imperial Jade has really hit the spot with this album; there's nothing over-fancy on display as it is good time Rock and you sense the band had a ball recording this. Even when they slow things down with 'Electric Lady' it comes across with a real maturity and a touch of class and a top notch solo from lead guitarist Alex Panero. The album is bought to a close with 'Fire Burning Sound', complete with a seventies sounding Hammond Organ – top stuff.

My knowledge of the Spanish Hard Rock scene is limited at best, but I think I might be tempted do a little more investigating if this is the standard being set. A very pleasant surprise indeed. I'll be watching out for these boys in the future.

Malcolm Smith

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