Cloud Over Jupiter is a project put together by Moon Men bassist Jerry King (who on this album also provides lead vocals and guitar) alongside Michele King (vocals, clarinet, piano) and drummer Bill Jungwirth plus multiple guests. The result is something which is quite experimental and certainly moves through many different musical directions through its course. The album starts with wildly driven percussion where it sounds that Jungwirth is playing pots and pans as opposed to a traditional kit, letting one know that this isn’t going to be a normal musical journey and that is certainly true. There are times when consecutive songs sound as if they are from a totally different band, as they move through eclectic prog, space rock, psych, Crimson, Zappa and so many styles.
I had to do a double take when I came to “Rat Salad”, which originally appeared on Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’ a million years ago. Here they have gone into a fuzzed doom approach which has way more in common with psych than the original. I must confess to not playing ‘Paranoid’ as much as I possibly should, normally heading towards ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’, but it is wonderful to hear a band do a Sabbath cover which has been treated kindly and isn’t what one would normally expect. The Hawkwind style synths definitely assist in doing this justice. But from that they move into “Blak 43” which is full of strange effects and in many ways is far darker, whereas “Turnaround: Jupiter Rising” sounds nothing like the songs which have preceded it.
One of the fascinating things about this album is that one never knows where it is going to lead, with varied musical experimentations, different line-ups, and vocals, and is certainly worth checking out.
7/10 Kev Rowland