Jughead - Jughead ©2002 InsideOut Music
1. Halfway Home To Elvis
2. C'mon
3. Snow In Tahiti
4. Promise
5. Bullet Train
6. Waiting On The Son
7. Yesterday I Found Myself
8. Be Like You
9. Flowers
10. Shame On The Butterfly
11. Paging Willie Mays

So one hand, you have The Jelly Jam featuring Ty Tabor, but not Derek Sherinian. But if you really dig Derek, you can always listen to Jughead, which does feature the man. Jughead is yet another side project for King's X's guitarist Ty Tabor, who is on his second different band with Derek Sherinian. Ironically, Sherinian's contributions are oriented more towards rhythm guitar and less on keyboards here, so perhaps fans of his keyboards might want to check out his solo album or Dream Theater or maybe just sneak into his practice space and hide behind an amp. And make sure you hide behind a Marshall stack to avoid being spotted.

Anyhow, Jughead also features Gregg and Matt Bissonette, both of whom have lengthy credits as session musicians, including stints with the likes of Joe Satriani and the god of California himself, David Lee Roth. They are also in a band called the Mustard Seeds. Making a family tree of this band would require a massive amount of paper and hopefully a good box of colorful crayons. Jughead very well could be the Kevin Bacon, six degrees of separation for metal and hard rock fans.

Jughead's music, which eventually was to be the point of this review, is a blend of alt-rock and older rock influence. We all know the pedigree of people in this band. Obviously these boys can play. However, there is a tendency for the band to wander into radio-friendly alternative rock sounds and it honestly doesn't do them justice. Contrasted to the more rockin' numbers like "Snow in Tahiti" or "Halfway Home to Elvis", the alterno-tinged songs like "Bullet Train" immediately grate on my ears and cause the wax to build up even faster than before. The band aims for catchiness above all else on the album and to that end, they succeed. But going for the obvious radio sound tends to make underground enthusiasts twitch around in spastic fits. Moreover, the schmaltz level occasionally gets raised too high and I want to hurl my body out my bedroom window. I'm only on the second floor, but that's still a fairly dramatic statement.

While Jughead is still head and shoulders above alterno-rock counterparts, the album still leaves me wanting just a bit more. It's definitely pleasant and has quite a few good numbers on it, but the descent into such radio friendly, watered down material doesn't do these four men justice. When it comes to Ty Tabor side projects, I'll still stick with The Jelly Jam.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2002

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