Jane Getter Premonition - Division World

Jane Getter Premonition – Division World

It’s probably fair to say that most of our guitar heroes are hairy-arsed men, so I really value the talented guitarists working in the prog field who boast a pair of X chromosomes, people like Hedvig Mollestad and Jane Getter. Ms Getter, in particular, has a number of good albums to her credit, both as a solo artist and fronting the Premonition, which also features her husband Adam Holzman on keyboards.

Getter has been described as ‘the fieriest fretboarding female ever to strap on a Stratocaster’ – her forte is heavy jazz-fusion with elements of King Crimson, Martin Barre, Steve Vai, a touch of Jeff Beck and a soupçon of Allan Holdsworth. She can play long, languid and lyrical, but also crunchy and hard, with notes tumbling over each other as they burst out of the speakers.

Recently she has been adding her vocals to the mix, and Division World – the third album from the Premonition – is her most song-heavy collection so far, with only one instrumental out of eleven tracks. The vocal numbers are enjoyable in a melodic, AOR fashion and most follow the same pattern: dreamy, gentle openings, getting louder with extended guitar and keyboard breaks in the middle. Getter’s voice is pleasant and tuneful – she reminds me of a mature Barbara Gaskin – but, like the songs, it is not particularly distinctive.

Things really take off when the singing stops and Getter’s crunchy guitar takes over, or her husband lays down a great keyboard solo. That’s why the best track on the album is the sole instrumental, Compass, in which the band create a superb slice of frenetic jazz fusion, full of light and shade with moments of delicacy giving way to pomp and power. Drummer Gene Lake drives things along with plenty of muscular energy, while bassist Paul Frazer lays down some solid, sometimes funky, bass.

Elsewhere on the album, Dissipate and Another Way stomp along convincingly, with some meaty riffs and power chords. At the other end of the spectrum, Waiting for the Light – featuring the guest vocals of Porcupine Tree touring band member Randy McStine – is a saccharine country ballad with very few redeeming features.

Getter openly admits that Division World is more song-oriented than her previous work. Clearly, someone has decided she will shift more CDs that way. Those of us who appreciate her early work may wonder why she has decided to concentrate on an aspect of her performance that many people can do just as well, if not better, and relegate the very skill that makes her special and distinctive.

I’m not saying this is a bad album, and I understand she feels she has things to say and write, but I do question the wisdom of communicating mostly through her voice rather than her guitar. It’s like Colonel Sanders decided to specialise in barbecue beans and offer chicken as a side dish. Let’s hope Getter reverts back to her usual menu on her next offering.

01. Division World (4:24)
02. Dissipate (4:43)
03. The Spark (4:26)
04. Compass (5:37)
05. End The Blame (4:04)
06. Layers (4:36)
07. Devolution (4:20)
08. Another Way (5:05)
09. Mixed Up (4:12)
10. Rewind Again (4:59)
11. Waiting for the Light (4:14)

Total Time – 50:40

Jane Getter – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Adam Holzman – Keyboards
Alex Skolnick – Guitar
Paul Frazier – Bass, Vocals
Gene Lake – Drums
Randy McStine – Vocals (track 11)

Record Label: Esoteric Recordings | Cherry Red Records
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 23rd February 2024

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