Juggernaut - "Burn" (self-released 2002, jug001, CD)
Juggernaut - "Better Than Everyone" (self-released 2003, jug002, CDEP)
Uploaded to Aural Innovations: January 2004
Juggernaut is a hard rocking band from Australia lead by the axe swinging brothers Krishna and Amarnath Jones, who released a full length set in 2002 and a 5 song CDEP in 2003. On their full length, titled Burn, the band is a quartet of the Jones brothers on guitar, plus Andrew Byrnes on drums and Skinner on bass, with guests on piano, Hammond organ, saxophone and various stringed instruments embellishing the music throughout. The band come roaring out of the starting gate with the Zeppelin fueled riff rocker "Monday Morning Blues", which quickly demonstrates the power of Juggernaut's combination of solid songwriting, tight-as-a-knot playing, terrific vocals and harmonies and excellent production. And from there Juggernaut blaze through a fiery set of rockers that often struck me as a mixture of Led Zeppelin and the James Gang. The band are at their best when rocking hard, but mellower songs like "Falling Down" manage to ease the pace while still kicking serious ass and whizzing off some of the tastiest guitar work on the album. Other highlights include the metallic "Bubble Man" and "Old Man", the former made all the more powerful by an absolutely RIPPING guitar solo that is brief, but makes its point most clearly... sent my head spinning. "Buried Alive" is another tune I especially enjoyed that features piledriver guitars and rhythms similar to "Monday Morning Blues".
Juggernaut's most recent release, the 5 song CDEP, Better Than Everyone, differs from Burn in that the Jones brothers have a new rhythm section, having replaced Byrnes and Skinner with Mick Skelton on drums and Greg Royal on bass. The title track is the first tune, and is a good song but doesn't open the set with the same exciting punch as I experienced on Burn. Things really calm down on "Addiction", which is a nice song but too sedate given how well these guys can Rock. But as the calmer songs go, "Rising Sun" is one I really liked, having an excellent mixture of heavy rock and lulling melodies. In fact, this sucker rips it up big time in the last minute of the song. But my hands down favorite songs are "I Should've Known" and "White Castles". The former is a passionate rocker that has that Bluesy Zeppelin feel that seems to be such a trademark part of the Juggernaut sound. Both songs have great guitars and vocals and a nicely dirty rockin sound.
There's lots here to appeal to the masses, but DON'T let that scare you away because these guys rock hard, much of the appeal being the blitzkrieg guitar attack of Krishna and Amarnath. Fans of 70's heavy rock will find much to enjoy, though the band is by no means a retro act as there are plenty of modern influences that contribute to the Juggernaut sound. Start with Burn.
For more information you can visit the Juggernaut web site at: http://www.juggernaut.net.au.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz