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Monday, December 18, 2006

Johnny Boy
Release Date: April 10th, 2006
Label: Wild Kingdom

Johnny Boy's debut effort may just be the best punk album of the year. And... it's not even punk. Like the bustling city awash with fireworks depicted on the album's cover, Johnny Boy create a busy, epic soundscape of trumpets, air traffic, bells… and that's just on the first track. More importantly, the London duo carry an anything-goes attitude throughout the whole of the record, something that's been sorely missing in modern pop music.

Nothing on Johnny Boy quite reaches the dizzying heights of former single You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve. It is quite possibly the most brilliant down-with-consumerism song that's ever been recorded. From the very first listen it sounds like a long-lost classic, all shimmering doo-wop vocals and instrumental grandeur. It is undoubtedly on the short list of perfect pop songs recorded this millennium. Johnny Boy Theme and All Exits Final nearly match You Are The Generation's success, while other tracks (namely the boisterous Living In The City and sing-along 15 Minutes) go for a dancier approach. Most everything on Johnny Boy sounds like nothing that's ever been released, which is an absolute credit to those involved, given the cyclical nature of the pop scene.

The only time the record takes a dip is with a pair of tracks, Springer and War On Want, which are too sparse in actual vocals to garner much attention. More successful is Bonnie Parker's 115th Dream, which sounds frighteningly like something Adam Ant would concoct if he was still making music. While Johnny Boy is a dense, sometimes challenging album, those listeners that stick around will be rewarded with one of the most refreshing pop debuts in a good long time. A-

Key Tracks: You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve, Johnny Boy Theme, All Exits Final

*The band wants you to know that no matter where you live, you can buy the album directly from them, as you should!


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