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Jonesy - Keeping Up CD (album) cover




Heavy Prog

3.66 | 50 ratings

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4 stars Keeping Up was Jonesy's second of 3 albums and is probably their most consistent from what I've heard. The group were presumably Welsh in origin and along with a group called Quicksand who were definitely Welsh and the Belfast prog rock band Fruupp were the best on the progressively aimed Dawn label. The group lost original bass guitarist Dave Paull and drummer Jim Payne and on Keeping Up replaced them with the much more dexterous Plug Thomas on drums and Gypsy Jones (brother of group leader John Evan Jones) on bass/lead vocals/recorders. Also for this album trumpet player Alan Bown ex of his own group was added to the group. Keyboardist Jamie Kaleth and guitarist John Evan Jones supplied the material for what is a pro soldier/anti war concept album that is for the most part very successful in conveying the despair of Northern Ireland at the beginning of its worst period also the futility of any war with references to World War 1 ("Sunset And Evening Star") and World War 2 (obviously a lot of lyrics here were drawn from experiences related to this and both world wars). Thankfully, where you may expect an abrasive and harsh sound the music is top class melodic progressive pop rock heavily reliant on Kaleth's waves and waves of mellotron. The vocals are for the most part very melodic and pleasant with the lead voice augmented by some nice harmonies. The album opens strongly with "Masquerade" and all of Side One is Excellent. "Sunset And Evening Star" is a sombre/heartbreakingly sad track with a lovely melody reminiscent of Spring. Side Two is taken up by some unfortunate avant garde influences at the outset which don't damage this album severely, but do go on a bit long. The closing tracks "Song" and "Children" are two of the best. The former an anthem for peace with another beautiful melody and the latter a song about nuclear holocaust and what has to be done to stop it. This album will not put a smile on your face, but it is full of good melodies and fine playing. While not in the same league as Czar or Asgard- this is still a fine album and strongly recommended for fans of gentle mellotron based progressive rock.
| 4/5 |


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