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Jazan Wild - Carnival Of Souls (CD)

Jazan Wild
Carnival Of Souls
by David Kaluza at 25 January 2006, 7:38 PM

Jazan Wild obviously is a big admirer of KISS and Alice Cooper. Everything about his debut album, Carnival Of Souls, simply breaths KISS and Alice. From the music to the lyrics, down to the entire concept behind it, Jazan makes sure that there can be absolutely no mistake about what is on offer here, and even openly confesses to this by including Gene & Co. in his liner notes. Luckily for us, Carnival Of Souls doesn't simply stop with being a fan's admiration of his heroes, and actually includes a few very worthwhile tunes as well.
The least you can say about Jazan is that he is a multi-talented guy. Not only did he come up with the concept, lyrics and music behind Carnival Of Souls but he also nearly single-handedly plays about every instrument, and in a more than decent fashion as well. The only time any other personnel is included, is on the odd rhythm guitar / keyboard part or on backing vocals. Aside from all of this, Jazan also is the creator of a comic book series, based around the Carnival Of Soulsstory (much in the same vein as Alice Cooper's The Last Temptation).
Like I said, musically Carnival Of Souls owes a lot to Jazan's idols, in being straight, no-nonsense Hard Rock, albeit with a slightly darker edge to it than most bands. Most of the songs on offer vary between catchy, crunching Rock tunes on one hand and more balladesque material on the other. Tracks like Broken or The Snake benefit from some really memorable, crunching guitar riffs while softer moments like The Rain or Haunted live from Jazan's vocal work. It has to be said though that not everything on Carnival Of Souls is equally good. I couldn't help but feel that on occasion the vocals lacked a bit of punch (especially in the harder songs) and this is something which also rings true for the production. While in general the sound is is very decent (thanks to executive producer Bob Kulick), sometimes you wish everything was cranked up slightly louder and especially some of the guitar leads could have used a bit more bite to them. In general though most of the songs are certainly above average. The only real exception to this, although in a negative way, is the KISS cover Rock 'n Roll All Night. This track has been covered to death already and is presented here in a curiously drab and boring version, lacking all the energy that made the original so much fun.
All in all though, Jazan Wild definitely shows promise for the future. If there is something the guy doesn't lack, that's attitude and a vision, like he shows more than once on Carnival Of Souls. Jazan is undoubtedly a decent songwriter and musician but somehow I can't shake the feeling that he would really start to shine and come into his own as part of an actual band situation, where he could share the creative process and instrumental parts with other musicians. Not a bad start at all though and I'm definitely curious what the future holds for him.

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
The Snake
Carnival Of Souls
Shot Of Love
The Crash
Rain
Tastes Like Love
Freakshow
Broken
Don't Know Me
Haunted
Nothin' Left
Your Love's An X-File
Rock'N Roll All Night
Lineup:
Jazan Wild - Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Bass & Keyboards
Jason Citro - Keyboard (on Haunted, The Rain, Tastes Like Love) & Rhytm Guitar (on The Rain)
Record Label: Markosia Music
     


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