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Janus
Red Right Return

Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
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  LeJanus learned their lessons well in the art of playing melodic rock from the ancestors of the genre such as Def Leppard. The thing about this band is their strong ability to combine powerful chunky metal chords with a backbone of melodic rock. The deadly and lethal combination that takes Janus to where they want to go on Red Right Return will bring many listeners along for the ride.

In 10 tracks, you get energy at level +10 and it does not let up. This is great music if you want to feel all pumped up there is no doubt about that. David Scotney puts out some vocals that find equal ground with the music pounding away behind him. Thanks to the pulsating thumping beats provided by Johnny Salazar (percussion) and Alan Quitman (bass) everyone else gets to do their thing with pleasure. Mike Tyrnaski peels off some heavy-duty string bending that drives the Janus machine along on cruise control.

Perhaps the most versatility and talent is evident in ever changing songs like "Skin Deep," which flirts with being a ballad at the opening then gradually builds into a crashing crescendo of guitars, bass and drums, which is more typical of the Janus musical map like you hear on "Eyesore". All the songs prior to that are good but have a tendency to lack a lot of variation and give you pretty much the same hard driving rhythms and chords that are patterned after the track you just heard, which is typical of this genre actually. Although this is the case, I certainly cannot fault the band for lack of consistency and probably giving their fans exactly what they want. Many bands do the same thing with great success so it is not a failure by any means.

From "Skin Deep" forward is where this listener gained more appreciation for the overall talent and capabilities of Janus and the realization that I could easily enjoy the sound they have to offer from start to finish once I realized what they are setting out to do here. A lot continues to change in every track from 6-10. The variations and transitions are excellent and totally put to bed my previous observations. I think it's quite brilliant how they present this CD and the more I hear it the more I like it and my confidence in them grows.

The artwork and packaging is eye catching and very pleasing and once you open up the tri-fold cardboard gatefold sleeves you get all the lyrics to sing along too, which you can actually read by the way, and the CD slides into one of sleeves just like the old vinyl LPs. You have to love it. Just as an aside, you will not find any pictures of the band, just the cartoon artwork of their images so you will have to catch them live to see what they really look like... yet another stroke of brilliance in presentation and marketing. This band has the right idea and will go far if they keep on the right track, with their sharp skills in all aspects of their music and presentation.

 

 

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