Johnny Foreigner – You Can Do Better (Album Reivew)

Opening tracks don’t come much more immediate sounding than Shipping. Brash, loud and happy-go-lucky vibes, tinged with just a tinsy amount of melancholy about drinking too much, it’s a good mix.  Second track and lead single Le Sigh follows a similar course. My over-riding thoughts about the first couple of songs here are that they would be great to see performed live.

I’m a newcomer to the cacophonic guitar spree of Johnny Foreigner. Deep research and soul searching on social media tell me they formed in 1996 and have released a bevy of albums, EPs and singles. Having been around a while you might expect a band formed in the mid-90s, who proclaim themselves to be unashamedly indie, to sound like a diabolical Oasis-like beast clawing their way from the rear end of the Stereophonics.

It’s good then that Johnny Foreigner sound like a fresh band. These sound like songs that have gestating long in the minds of their creators. There is the occasional quiet moment, such as track 4 Riff Gritchard – a very pleasant instrumental and Devestator which begins softly but becomes the gnarly jam the title would suggest. Songs like Wifi Beach and bonus track To the Deaf bring out a FIDLAR like surfer sound.  For the most part the songs remain to a tight formula.  Light rhythm guitars, deep bass, dual lead vocals that have a slight air of the Pixies about them. At 40 mins the sound doesn’t out stay it’s welcome but if you’re not digging the sound from the offset you may find yourself a bit nonplussed by the end.


By Michael Dickinson

Michael is the VultureHound Film Editor.