By The Johnnys
Reviewed by Jorge Antonio Vallejos
After you hit a Johnnys concert you’re left singing to yourself, shaking your head up and down, throwing your fists in the air, and repeating, “Louder! Faster! More fun!”
And you could care less what the people on the street and subway think.
The Johnnys live up to their name. What you see on the cover of their latest album is what you get: flames (hot lyrics), a soaring raven (songs that uplift you), music played and sung at high volume with fast beats, and it’s all very entertaining.
The nine tracks on Louder Faster More Fun are played at maximum velocity. Veronica Johnny sings the lyrics that stay in your head. Dave Johnnys forearms and biceps flex and move a hundred miles per second bringing you the beats that move your feet in different patterns, and your arms up and down at a ninety-degree angle (the wannabe drummer pose). Oriana Barbato and Tim Bones play the bass and guitar that have you doing really bad imitations of them: left hand out straight at your side, right hand stroking up and down your middle, face down with your hair (if you have long hair) over your face.
Is that just me?
Bedbug Banquet starts off the album. A high-pitched guitar draws you in followed by hard ass drums that leave you punch drunk and wanting more. The song is about a problem lots of folk are facing now: bedbugs. Although I find myself pressing repeat on my CD player, the story of the song is something I don’t want to experience once, never mind the fifty times I’ve listened to Veronica Johnny sing about it:
I’m afraid of my blanket,
Can’t hardly stand it.
Most artists express what they know. If The Johnnys have had bedbugs it brings a whole new meaning to Dave Johnny banging the drums: therapy, letting out frustration, releasing the hate. And he does it well.
It’s hard writing this review because I don’t want to move on to the next song. Bedbug Banquet is essentially about a living nightmare (no pun intended) yet I find myself listening to the track over and over. How we humans enjoy misery from a distance is funny and disturbing.
Track 2, Louder Faster More Fun, the title song, continues the flow of music that is the equivalent of racing on the autbahn in Germany. There is no buildup, no lead in, no jab, just all three instruments hitting you like Mike Tyson: hard and fast. Except, if you’re knocked down by The Johnnys music it’s fun.
Louder Faster More Fun is about a band that thinks they’re all that who get substituted because the crowd wants louder, faster, more fun music. Who better to provide that than The Johnnys?
I can’t get enough,
Feel the rhythm, I feel the rush,
Give me more of that stuff.
After yelling “louder, faster, more fun” (the crowd at live shows usually sing along) for the last quarter of the track (half a minute or so), the song ends as fast as it started, leaving you wanting more. For that you’ll have to buy their CDs or attend their next concert.
Better yet, do both.
Louder Faster More Fun has songs about living as a starving artist (Art of Starvin’); doing it in the bush (It’s Better In The Bush); an old stripper (Daytime Dancer); and so much more.
If you like loud, fast music, dancing, and having fun, then check out The Johnnys!