The Jelly Jam

2

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By all rights, the Jelly Jam should be insufferable. The trio is a prog rock supergroup consisting of guitarist and singer Ty Tabor (of King's X), bassist John Myung (of Dream Theater), and drummer Rod Morgenstein (of the Dixie Dregs). When three guys with those kinds of pedigrees and those kinds of chops get together, the result is usually a musically disastrous conflict of egos. But these three made it work once before, and their second album is just as successful as their eponymous debut was. The Jelly Jam's secret lies in their ability to subsume their more self-indulgent tendencies in a single-minded pursuit of monolithic grooves, careful song structures, and honest to goodness hooks. Their maturity and taste lead them, at times, to sound like a more disciplined version of Cream ("Not Today") and at others like a less sharply focused version of the Police (the downright punky "Runaway"). Elsewhere, their combination of swooning harmonies and elephantine guitar roar is pretty much sui generis, and more fun than you'd have any right to expect. The Jelly Jam might not shed much new light on the Dregs, but they might make you want to give those old King's X albums a second listen. Highly recommended.

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