Johnny Get the Gun – EP Review

Johnny Get The Gun EP

The foursome hailing from Essex have been plugging away for a few years now and despite a few hiccups and trials along the way they profess to feeling stronger than ever. They say on their MySpace page that they want to prove all their doubters wrong, so lets see what they have for us shall we?
The first track on the EP, ‘You Will be Mine’, is simple in its musical formula, a theme which is backed up my similarly simplistic lyrics – this is not a negative as such, the song is actually refreshingly unpretentious in its nature. Unfortunately like all too many songs that are urging to rate high on the catchy chart, a series of ‘da da da da das’ rears. This is of course a great way to encourage audience participation in a live situation but can sometimes seem too brazen in its attempt to win over listeners. The seemingly abrupt inclusion of the ‘da da da’ also makes it feel a bit too much like the band have followed the rules on how to create a perfect pop song. Although my ears are slightly irked by this it is quickly rectified when it is joined by other layers of vocals and melody, which together make for a pleasing sound. Despite its faults with its catchy chorus this track is sure to invade your head. ‘All Good Things’ sounds a like it could have been performed by the likes of Three Doors Down or Goo Goo Dolls. The first section of the song sounds very much like one of those American Teen Soundtrack friendly rock ballads, however It soon leads into an energetic and sprightly punk-pop track, with Jack Lawsons guitar parts that hint at both The Offspring and My Chemical Romance. The drumming by Jamie Abela has a military feel at times which nods to moments of The Black Parade also. With its regular change of pace and mood this song is a definite highlight of the EP and I urged me to go back for further listens.‘Man with a Dream’, with its Green Day’esque bass-line but more folky melody is a song you can imagine sounding great during an acoustic set. Its charmingly raw and unpolished in parts, this is cemented by frontman Wayne Lightowler vocals, which veer between raspy and pure. This time they have used a ‘La La’ instead of the’ Da Da Da’ which most definitely recalls Iggy Pops classic ‘Passenger.’ ‘Give You More’ is a promising track, but I think it could benefit from a bit of reworking. The vocals don’t quite work at the pitch the song is currently placed at, although the Chorus is more successful than the Verses which need more tweaking. The lyrics of the song are ones that many will relate to so I would love to hear it once the band or producer have experimented with the track in different keys.‘Problems’ has a blues-ier and generally more negative tone to it but with a punchy chorus not unlike punk heroes Blink182’s ‘First Date.’Final track ‘The Night To End’ has some great flourishing kinetic bass lines by Joe Williams, which add another dimension to what is already a strong track. Featuring a hooky chorus and extended notes that showcases the singers vocal range this is another potential hit.
Overall these boys know what they need to do to create a catchy pop/punk-rock tune, it just needs a bit of reworking and polishing.I will be interested to hear how their debut long player sounds when they get back in the studio in the Autumn with Enter Shikari and You Me At Six Producer John Mitchell. Watch this space as they say!

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