Review Summary: Jake goes instrumental
Regrettably, all previous bands of Jake E. Lee turned out to be short-term. Ozzy Osbourne
undeservingly dismissed his guitar slinger following the release of two albums – Bark at the Moon
and The Ultimate Sin
, which he became strongly associated with. Then Jake formed Badlands
together with vocalist Ray Gillen, which produced two LPs under that moniker – their self-titled debut and Voodoo Highway
. Both releases were met positively by those appreciating good bluesy hard rock, but they failed to attain a wider popularity. Following the second LP the band broke up and Jake went back to square one, needing to start everything from scratch again. His next attempt didn’t take off the ground, so instead he decided to release his first solo effort in 1996.
Without a doubt, the album is somewhat of a black sheep in his brief discography. Whereas all the previous works from Jake were always a band (or, at least, a few band members’) effort, on this one the situation is different. The thing is A Fine Pink Mist
is entirely instrumental, with all parts recorded by himself, practically with no outside support. All the instruments involved he played and programmed single-handedly, turning it quite literally into a solo album.
On A Fine Pink Mist
Jake demonstrate his talents from a new perspective. While on his previous releases he would stick to the genre requirements and churn out the riffs, sneaking in occasional solos and fills, here the picture is different. No longer limited by standard structures of mainstream hard rock, Jake has the opportunity to spread his songwriting wings, to arrange the tracks at his own discretion depending on the artistic goal and ideas. And this opportunity he relishes fully. Most melodies feel completely self-contained, with rather clearly defined beginning, middle and end, evoking various mental images in the listener’s mind. On one track it is something from the 50s – 60s science fiction (Atomic Holiday
), on another it is some apocalyptic story (The Rapture
) or as if inspired by horror movies (Bludfuk
). The guitarist employs various elements and genres for his purposes, and so there is heavy metal with industrial flavor (Exithouse
), blues and surf rock (Demon a Go-Go
), psychedelic overtones (I Magnify
), all of these blending into a smooth sound cocktail.
Notably, on his own solo album Jake sticks to the same principles as for his other releases. He doesn’t abuse his instrument of choice trying to cram multiple notes into short periods of time just for the sake of it, as if trying to demonstrate to somebody his admirable technical skills. It is actually quite the opposite. He lets the musical pieces develop gradually, aiming for ambience and textures, which make the album more enjoyable to listen. Sometimes it feels like A Fine Pink Mist
acted as a kind of a vent for Jake E. Lee, necessary to release his accumulated aggravations and disappointments. Even if it was the case, these negative emotions didn’t impact the end result, but it is definitely a pity that he released only one album like this one.
One way or another, this album ended up being the last release of this underrated six-string slinger, since after this he practically fell off the grid for almost 10 years. Occasionally you could see him here and there as part of some one-off cooperation. There are rumors he had a drug problem, but we don’t know that for sure. In any case the next full-fledged studio album with Jake at the guitar would be released only in 2005. However, this is a whole other story.