Exposé Online banner

Jadis — Across the Water
(Giant Electric Pea GEPCD 1009, 1994, CD)

by Dan Casey, Published 1994-08-01

Across the Water Cover art

If this band sounds familiar to you, it's probably because Jadis are usually touted as the alter-ego of IQ. With half of Jadis also members of IQ concurrently (Martin Orford, keys; John Jowitt, bass), this comparison is certainly valid, but it is worth noting that Jadis strive to represent things more bright and positive, where IQ are more driven by bitterness and anger. Across the Water is the second major album release from Jadis, and in many regards it is a cut above their previous effort. The most obvious difference is the level of musicianship here. Guitarist/vocalist Gary Chandler (when the writing allows him to stretch out on the guitar) is masterful at stating and phasing a lead line, and the drummer Stephen Christey has found better, more exciting ways to support him on the kit, with an overall approach that is more busy and more solid. Along these same lines, Jowitt adds a lot of punctuality to the bottom end with some inspired bass work. His bass tones are unusually warm and rich, and they never get buried in the mix. Jowitt is probably the best bassist on the neo-prog scene in recent years, and fans of this style of music will find his playing to be comparable to, say, Tony Levin or Geddy Lee. Where the miserable vocals marred the first album drastically, Chandler shows a bit of practice has expanded his still limited abilities considerably. He still shows no imagination with his vocal melodies (which is a big disappointment, since he can do it on the guitar) and his range is puny at best. As with IQ, Martin Orford's keyboard work adds the signature sound to the ensemble. It's his chord voicings and unpredictable changes that make him so unique, and notwithstanding all the Tony Banks influence in his playing, he still does it well, and that's the bottom line no matter the style of prog you play. The writing is both better and worse with this album - songs like "Touch" and "The World on Your Side" are full of intelligent gems, but others like "Everywhere I Turn" and "In Isolation" are virtually all pop-based, and not even good pop at that. Moments like these harken back to the late '80s IQ sound, which is better left behind. The production/mixing/packaging are all extremely well-done and professional, which helps to make Across the Water a step in the right direction for Jadis. Above average neo-prog, but probably won't be as well-received as the latest IQ effort, and deservedly so.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 4, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Jadis

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music world, and festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Herbe Rouge - Herbe Rouge – This progressive group is of the sort that could only come from France in the 70s where a distinctive and idiosyncratic form of weirdness flourished. Like many of their progressive compatriots, Herbe...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues