After a long quarrel in court ala Yes/Floyd for the possession of the name of the band between Peter Panka (drums, voice) and Klaus Hess (guitars), both of them founder members of the group, the resolution was that none of them were allowed to use the original name. Thus, nowadays we have to talk about Peter Panka’s Jane, but in fact we should talk about the reunion of one of the greatest german bands of the seventies. A group with a dozen of records released. A band that had the peak of their fame in the mid seventies.
In this new reunion we can find three of the founder members. Musicians who have decided to take advantage of the successful German tour of last year together with another classic band, Birth Control. A tour that was stamped on the live record Live 2002, which recaptured a big part of the classic pieces of the band.
A successful formula it would something like "Greatest Hits Live", a perfect hook for the old fans, but unfortunately that’s not the same when we talk about new material, like this new release. The whole thing is very different to what the band did thirty years ago. Their style was an amazing blend of atmospheres and krautrock, a style perfectly reflected on “Together” (1971) and “Fire, Water, Earth & Air” (1976), with a lot of symphonic influences and psychedelic passages. Music full of great guitar riffs that got them close to such a different band like Uriah Heep or Black Sabbath. Now they have picked up a smooth AOR style, which take them to some other territories closer to Toto, Reo Speedwagon, Foreigner or the latest Saga.
We’ve got the usual problem, the problem that we are listening to a classic prog band which is not much interested in revisiting the old style that made them big way back in the seventies. The question would be, who is this record made for?, obviously not made for the old Jane fans, neither made for the purest progressive rock fan, is it made for AOR fans?, maybe, because the quality is high, the production is magnificent (a typical SPV production direction), the vocal work is very interesting and the guitar solos very amusing. However we miss the old organ, a typical Jane piece which gave the band their unique sound, and we also miss a little bit more of depth in their songs, they’re not so adventures and risky that used to be, it is too flat and plain. Well if you want to enjoy a good engineering project with a great sound you’ve got to have it, but if you try to find the old Jane you’re gonna have nothing on this new record.