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Jester (Canada) - 1994 It's Time

ARTIST: Jester
ALBUM: It's Time
LABEL: Megarock
YEAR: 1994


LINEUP: Paul Beresford - vocals, keyboards, guitars * T.J Knight - vocals, guitars * Pat Bray - bass, vocals * Rick Styles - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Silent Tears * 02 Falling Faster * 03 I Want To Believe * 04 Stranger In Your Eyes * 05 It's Time * 06 Lonely * 07 Breakaway * 08 The Truth

This band are now no longer, but at the time of their heyday, Jester were good enough to attract transatlantic label interest from their small town origins back in their home country of Canada. Very tight musically, Jester combine the perfect tri-merger of Rush, Saga and Dream Theater in one very compact package, with musicianship and flair to boot. The band were signed to the Swedish label Megarock, not a bad effort for a small town band, but I suppose it needs to be put into perspective, as the melodic hard rock scene wasn't particularly strong back then, thanks to our grunge friends from Seattle. However, Jester attracted interest with the guys from the AOR Classics magazine, and in fact for a time, this album was distributed by them in its indie state, prior to Jester hooking up with Megarock.

The Songs
For an album just over a half hour long, there are some special moments. Check out the opener 'Silent Tears', an opening riff courtesy of Canada's favourite power trio Rush, before settling into a semi-progressive groove. A very catchy number indeed. It's AOR territory we venture into with the smooth 'Falling Faster', the pre-solo and solo's sections are kinda cool on this one. Saga gets the big tribute on 'I Want To Believe', those synths are straight outta 'Silent Knight', whilst Dream Theater like flavours abound on the piano laced 'Stranger In Your Eyes'. Jester kick up merry hell on the rockin' title track 'Its Time', landing somewhere between Tyketto and Indianapolis's secret weapon Under Fire. More big sounding synths from Paul Beresford greet us on 'Lonely' followed by the improvised 'Breakaway', complete with snarling vocals and synth stabs. The closer is the band's attempt at a power ballad, and admittedly 'The Truth' ain't too bad.

In Summary
Unfortunately this single performance was not enough to sutain interest in the band, which was compounded by the changing face of rock music at the time. The band carried on under another name for a while, but like so many others, faded into obscurity. However, they left behind a pretty good effort nonetheless.

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#1 | Jez on June 14 2008 16:12:36
This is a pretty good disc in places. Totally agree with the Saga influenced keys which are nice, and maybe a slight bit of 2nd division Dream Theater thrown into the mix. Nothing really stands out during it's short 35 odd minutes, but it certainly doesn't offend either, with some good ideas floating around. It certainly will be of interest for the Pomp/Prog brigade.

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