By MetalGeorge Pacheco
Having formed in 1977, Jameson Raid predate the NWOBHM by a lil’ bit, yet are still well-regarded in hindsight by a number of shaggy-headed souls, who seek to revise metallic history by an equally small amount via the inflation of this admittedly low-key quartet’s influence and importance over the course of their brief existence.
Shadow Kingdom Records seem to count themselves among these diehards, given the lavish treatment rendered to Just As the Dust Had Settled, a collection of the band’s five year recorded career. Of course, this should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Shadow Kingdom’s other reissue releases; this is clearly a labor of love, undertook by someone who knows Jameson Raid inside and out, and who’s eager to share this fervent fandom to a new, oblivious audience.
So yes, Just As the Dust Had Settled is an undeniably professional release, but yet one question still remains: is Jameson Raid actually worth all this trouble? Well…no, actually. Not really.
It isn’t as if The Raid—which was actually how the band was titled on the seminal Metal For Muthas II compilation—didn’t have anything to offer back in the late 70s and early 80s. It’s just that their power rock/early metal sound—surely inspired by such legit giants like Thin Lizzy and UFO—didn’t really do much to differentiate itself from the band’s formidable heroes. In other words, there really isn’t anything to chew on here which hadn’t been presented much better by Jameson Raid’s peers and elders.
Even when it comes to NWOBHM heritage, the music on the End of Part One EP, the Seven Days of Splendour single and 1982’s Electric Sun demo—all of which are included in this collection—doesn’t quite pack the punch of say Savage’s Loose ‘n Lethal, Saxon’s Wheels of Steel or Lightning to the Nations by Diamond Head. Sure, Jameson Raid can rock hard enough for a Saturday night pint session alright, but somehow I just don’t envision Neal Kay spinning this over at the Soundhouse too much back in the day.
Ultimately, we can certainly see the past though rose coloured glasses, and Just As the Dust Had Settled does indeed provide a loving tribute-lyrics, notes, photos and all—to a band which some might feel didn’t quite get the recognition they deserved during their day. At the same time, however, some bands should just remain cult classics.
Jameson Raid is one of those bands.