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Jag - 1992 Fire In The Temple



ARTIST: Jag
ALBUM: Fire In The Temple
LABEL: Benson
SERIAL: 84418-2870-2
YEAR: 1992

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: John Allen Garies - lead vocals * J. Paul Brittain - guitars, vocals * Michael Lusk - bass, vocals * Chuck Conner - drums

Additional Musicians: Dale Oliver, Mark Chesshir, Gordon Kennedy - guitars * Tommy Sims, Jackie Street - bass * Chris McHugh - drums * Greg Guidry, Jim Cooper, Dale Oliver, Billy Smiley, Larry Stewart - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Stand By Love * 02 Invisible Man * 03 Streams In The Desert * 04 Long Lost Friend * 05 I Keep Coming Back * 06 Fire In The Temple * 07 Mine, Mine, Mine * 08 Land Of The Living * 09 1000 Words * 10 A Circle Unbroken


Background
Here's one for all the White Heart fans out there. Jag was the acronym for front man John Allen Garies and over the course of their relatively short career released three well-received discs; 'The Longest Road' in 1990, 'The Only World In Town' the following year and their final effort 'Fire In The Temple' in 1992. Jag hit its stride at a time when Christian AOR was peaking with the likes of Crossection, Halo, The Brave, Rachel Rachel and Guardian; shifting major units and drawing large, well-mannered crowds but of course the Christian market always lagged behind secular trends and by the middle of the decade these bands, and more importantly this style would be a distant memory with record companies favoring Grunge and Nu-Metal dressed in a dark and depressing biblical stance.


The Songs
White Heart connections abound on 'Fire In The Temple' with production by Billy Smiley and featuring then current and former members adding their instrumental prowess; Jag toured with White Heart as well and comparisons to the CCM super group's 'Power House' and Tales of Wonder' are more than appropriate. I also hear a Giant influence but the set is not without one glaring problem - the songs, some of which and no big surprise, are co-written by the White Heart guys who could have done better. The strongest are first up with opener 'Stand By Love' the most impressive, hook laden with a heavy groove and turning it down a notch for the acoustic-driven 'Long Lost Friend', exposing the band's softer side for the praise and worship crowd. I can just see the hands swaying in the air with fingers pointed skyward at their live shows and although the Giant-ish 'Keep Coming Back' is a corker, the remaining album while commendable for rising above lesser Christian AOR product is nondescript and boring, case in point the vacuous sing-along closer 'A Circle Unbroken'.


In Summary
A mixed bag and it's the last we would hear from Jag and any of its players until the death of John Allen Garies from liver disease in 2007. All three discs from the band are cheap and easy to find and yes, you could do worse. Still, this is a band that fell short of its potential at the worst possible time musically which is a pity.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on August 05 2012 02:47:49
Could never quite get into this band. I thought Rick Cua was much better around this timeframe.
#2 | roadrunner158 on August 05 2012 13:22:14
There's something missing with this release - memorable hooks. Just a mediocre effort, I'm afraid.
 
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