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This album has been critizised by many, but even when it first came out, I totally enjoyed it. In my opinion, this is the last really good album bearing the Pretty Maids monicker; the last one to have any resemblance to the greatness of “Future World” and “Red Hot And Heavy”. From here on, they evolved into a standard hard rock band, one of those you can hear down your local pub on Saturday nights.
“Jump the Gun” has a more commercial approach than previous albums, as evident referring to both song-writing and production. Still, I can remember when I first heard it, and it sounded nothing like I had expected, but exactly like I wanted.
“Lethal Heroes” is one of the best songs they ever wrote, a great metal monster with pounding riffs and high vocals. Magnificent!
“Don´t Settle For Less” and “Rock The House” are both straight-forward rocking songs, good ones both.
“Savage Heart” is the obligatory ballad, a great moody one with magnificent vocals.
Then “Young Blood” picks up the pace a bit before side one finishes in metallic style with “Headlines”, also a great song.
Side two kicks off in magnificent fashion with the title track, before “Partners In Crime”kicks you sideways with great harmonies and a fantastic chorus.
“Attention” is a rather simple song that works ok, nothing special.
After this comes a couple of songs, “Hang Tough” and “Over And Out” that doesn´t really do anything to add to the album, before it picks up againn with final song “Dream On”, a laid back, loose affair that end the album on a good note.
As I see it, “Jump The Gun” is an essential part of Pretty Maids´ recording legacy. Go get it.
Jump the Gun, an album that was long awaited when it finally was released in 1990. According to Atkins and Hammer in later interviews, it was actually meant to be released in 1988 but because of a lot of misfortunes, the recording sessions took a whole lot longer than expected. For instance, drummer Phil More broke his arm in a serious car crash and was injured for a long time (which is why Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice plays the drums on one of the tracks).
The album is produced by Deep Purple bassist Roger Glover and the whole record actually is a little Deep Purple-ish. It’s very clear that DP is a great rolemodel to the maids and for that reason, this turns out to be the unheaviest album PM has ever done (with Stripped as the only exception of course). Sure it rocks and there’s some good tunes but it’s not especially heavy metal.
Lethal Heroes (9/10) – This song kicks ass. One of the highlights of this record. Starts with a keyboard intro and then blasts off with a nice guitar lead. Has an awesome chorus and nice lyrics. Great opener and a great song!
Don’t Settle For Less (4/10)– Well, if you’re really lazy and you’re not near your stereo you won’t skip this track. It won’t make you throw up but there’s absolutely nothing remarkable or exciting about this track. Still, it’s too average to be considered really bad…
Rock the House (8/10) – A track that’s become a quite popular live track. A song about party and rock’n’roll. Nice sing-a-long chorus. “Rock is the drug, we’ve got enough to share. ROCK THE HOUSE”.
Savage Heart (10/10) – The obligatory ballad and what an extremely nice one. The keyboard opens this track with a sound that gets louder and louder, then one hit on the drum and the song takes off. A midtempo track and if I have interpreted the lyrics correctly, it’s about war and destruction but when the war is over, life still goes on. Life won’t die. For the last couple of choruses, the New Jersey Mass Choir joins in and makes it quite spectacular. This is indeed one of the best songs of this record and one of the maids’ best ever.
There were also shot a video for this song but like all other PM videos it’s hard to get. Not the best music video I have seen but still way better than anything shown on MTV these days (and that ain’t hard to do)
Young Blood (6/10)– Well, this is an okay tune with an okay verse and a decent chorus. It’s above average but not much. It’s not one you’re gonna skip everytime since it’s not a bad song. Worth noticing that Ian Paice plays the drums on this track so check it out if you are a Paice fan.
Headlines (7/10)– Well, as the title may indicate, this song is about the things that makes headlines, and it’s not always specifically nice stuff that makes the headlines. The track itself is one of the better of this record but not something special compared to many other tracks done by the maids.
Jump the Gun (9/10) – This is actually a pretty cool song. Great riff, nice melody, good chorus and a decent solo.
Partners in Crime (4/10)– Lyrically this is somewhat of a Bonnie and Clyde song. Musically it’s not impressing. It’s like I’ve heard it all before and it just gets lost in the crowd of mediocre songs with no real purpose than to obtain about 4 minutes of space on a record………..
Attention (5/10) – Well, this is an okay song, but nothing extraordinary. Decent riffing, decent melody, decent chorus….. Yeah, this song is decent, nothing more…. It might have been a minor hit in Japan… Nevertheless it later turned up on Maids’ Best Of compilation…
Hang Tough (6/10) – This is a cover track (originally by Icon) but PM are actually the first band (probably only) to release it. They heard an Icon demo tape in the studio and heard this song which didn’t make the cut to a final Icon album but PM liked it so they decided to put it on here. Roger Glover plays the bass here. It’s an okay track but very untypical PM. Not much to say about it actually…
Over and Out (5/10) – Another balladesque tune but not in the same high class as Savage Heart. Pretty cheesy lyrics, an okay melody… Doesn’t kick my ass, doesn’t make me vomit…. Average track….
Dream On (9/10) – A bluesy tune that took ten minutes to write. They were goofing around in the studio one late night and they were pretty drunk. Dream On’s the result and the record company wanted it on the record. It’s a pretty funny tune with a very catchy hook line in the verse… “I don’t wanna know, I don’t wanna know, I don’t wanna know about it”…. A nice way to end an album though it’s a very unusual PM track.
Overall, I could have done perfectly well without half of this disc. As aforementioned, the sound is very Deep Purple-ish and though I like Deep Purple, I don’t like a Pretty Maids album sounding like a Deep Purple album. This is just hard rock. Not the PM heavy metal that I like.. And what a big letdown after the marvellous Future World record... Not the follow up one could have hoped.
Highlights: Lethat Heroes, Rock The House, Savage Heart, Dream On, Jump The Gun.