Jude One Eight

With a change from the sounds of Hybrid 6, comes the solo project from guitarist Jude pulling in the help of various friends; producing an album with a Rock undertone, but it turns out to be much more than that. Perhaps, showcase is a better word?

Opening with “Chocolate Cake” you instantly know this is no industrial or synth based album. The guitar licks kick in, soon followed by drums and you get a raw Rock, almost smokey vibe. With Marlene providing a vocal that works well with the guitar work

Things are cranked up slightly with “Private Banks (So Cold)”, as the opening “Huh” you get a heavier feel to the sound. The rhythm is more prevalent, and the vocals betray the opening grunt.

Where as everything is turned down for “Want To Be Free”, this time vocals are provided by Naomi Terry, giving them a subtly smooth edge. Giving the track a laid back feel those lyrics just hint at something darker, or someone trapped.

While “Concrete Beat” takes on a disillusioned feel; blending an Indie-style vocal, a solid unrelenting beat and an overall delivery that somehow proves infectious. Yet from left field at least vocally; is “Heart Removal” with Andy Thomas providing some almost brutal, and gutteral uncompromising vocal delivery. The downside is that this track is over a little to soon, and the fadeout almost gives it an unfinished feel unfortunately.

Lord Lav gives you an almost Linkin Park feel, although as the track opens up it you end up somewhere between Linkin Park and Scroobius Pip – definitely an English style of rap. The track is a NSFW affair, and although I am no rap expert; there is something entrancing as the word-play unfolds. This is all offset by Marlene with the softer sounding (indie?) “Am I Alive” which almost floats across the guitar work.

Jude One Eight

It is so easy to judge a book by its cover and having enjoyed Hybrid-6, both live and on CD this was more than a pleasant surprise. I always like the unexpected, especially when it breaks your preconceptions.

“East” features some great guitar noodling in between Marlene’s vocals. With an almost Suzanne Vega feel to her vocals, the guitar work discreetly punctuates the passages when she is not singing, leaving a track that stands out-if only for the fact it is understated.

Closing the album is “Temporary”; and somehow this feels for me, to be the strongest track on the album-everything just feels a little tighter. Nothing is overdone or in your face, but a more laid back affair.

One of the great things about the album is that with the differing vocal styles, it is almost a compilation album with a strong sense of belonging and certainly leaves you wanting to hear more from each of the collaborators. Of course not forgetting the driving force behind all of this – Jude. Is there a downside to all of this? Well, yes. The album possess a few personalities and although the glue holding it together is Jude and his superb axe work, it could be perceived as an overly mixed bag. This might not appeal to everyone, but it is not a reflection on his capability. Certainly I look forward to more material from Jude.

Zen Juddhism is available now on iTunes. Check it out!

Track Listing
Chocolate Cake (feat. Marlene Rodriguez)
Private Banks (So Cold) (feat. Opkar Hans)
Want to Be Free (feat. Naomi Terry)
Concrete Beat (feat. Marlene Rodriguez)
Explicit Heart Removal (feat. Andy Thomas)
Clash from Oblivion (feat. Lord Lav)
Am I Alive (feat. Marlene Rodriguez)
Green Eyes (feat. Opkar Hans)
Hold (feat. Naomi Terry)
East (feat. Marlene Rodriguez)
Temporary (feat. Opkar Hans)


Words by Jon.