Johnny Society – Coming To Get You (CD)

Johnny Society come through as a mix of mid-nineties Flaming Lips and Chris Isaak. In fact, “Coming To Get You’s” second track “The Witch’s Plea” has more than a passing vocal similarity to “Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing”. “Marilene” tries to bring some David Bowie falsetto into Johnny Society’s traditional sound, in what feels like a very anemic, poorly-performing track. The track would have succeeded if there were more in the way of connections between the different parts of the song; as it stands right now, there is an incredible feeling of disjointedness on the track.

“Sonny Reign” meanders along the entire song’s length, and much like its predecessor “Marilene” there seems to be some major issues that tend to diminish the enjoyment one can gain from the track immensely. Specifically in the case of “Sonny Reign”, Johnny Society seem to hold themselves back from any virtuosic displays. This means no logical extensions of the ascending guitar riffs or a climax of the tension forwarded by Kenny’s vocals. When one feels as if there will be a dramatic climax, the band instead opts to start the whole process over. This in turn leads to feelings of hopelessness, as this episodic bent really will lead individuals to question whether anything new will be broached in the later tracks of the disc or whether it is going to be more of the same. Finally breaking away from this sound after the mid-way point of “Coming To Get You” with the title track, a vocal shift to something more like David Lee Roth and a relaxation of the controls against virtuosity (the guitars are finally allowed to soar into a solo during the track) really make the track stand out against the rest of “Coming To Get You’s” fare.

After the disc’s weak opening, the second half portends much better for the band, as the theatrics that were surprisingly absent from “Marilene” are restored for the glam/Elton John-like sound of “Bound”. “Bound” has all parts of the band work together perfect, and the incorporating of a wheezing synthesizer/organ is enough to make this dense track surprise in all aspects. Slowly starting, Johnny Society really make a strong case for purchase of “Coming To Get You” to individuals during the Darkness-like falsettos and glam perfection of tracks like “Reach Me”. Skip over the first half of this disc and one will be pleasantly surprised after.

Top Tracks”: Reach Me, Coming To Get You

Rating: 5.3/10

Johnny Society – Coming To Get You / 2005 Messenger / 11 Tracks / http://www.johnnysociety.com / http://www.messengerrecords.com / Reviewed 10 September 2005

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