Jonny Lives starts off their “Get Steady” with a brand of current, alternative rock (a la Weezer and the Lonely H) that has tremendous dues to give to sixties rock (for a more current comparison, rent a copy of That Thing You Do and you’ll get an idea). “No Good” is the perfect introduction to the disc, as the splashy drums and strong vocals are a perfect introduction to the band. The band does not whiff on other tracks; “Get Steady” is a slinky rock track that still uses the nucleus created by “No Good” and puts a heavier veneer onto it. Instead of being like the boy bands of the sixties, the band has moved into Who and Rolling Stone territory.
The band does not stop cutting single after single on “:Get Steady”; “Outside” is a track that is firmly implanted in what is comparable to a New Radicals meets Harvey Danger type of alternative rock. When the band throws a kink into their general sound (as is the case during the acoustic-heavy track “Breaking Down”), there is nothing in the way of rough edges that individuals need to watch out for. The band performs admirably in any situation that they decide to create for themselves. Johnny Lives is not a band that experiments too terribly much on “Get Steady”, but they really don’t need to.
Of course, there are some noticeable experiments, as is the case with the acoustic track mentioned before, as well as the a capella that starts off “Lost My Mind”; this is all that Jonny Lives needs to make something that has a high replay value as well as a reason for individuals to tune in. In fact, it may be good that the band does not experiment more; the fifties / teen romance style of “Lost My Mind” seems to drag on a little too much to keep individuals interested in the band at this mid-point of the disc. Jonny Lives quickly gets back on the horse with “Diamonds & Roses”, which is something that recalls Steppenwuelf more than any other track on this disc. Jonny Lives comes up with an interesting disc, that even with its highly circumscribed sound, is able to carve out a niche for the band that can be exploited for quite a few albums. Herre’s to hoping that Jonny Lives works out the last few kinks in their sound for their next album; if that happens, we’ll have a band to replace Weezer as nerd-rock extraordinaires.
Top Tracks: Everybody’s Trying To Break You Down, Breaking Down
Jonny Lives – Get Steady / 2006 Eleven Seven Music / 14 Tracks / http://www.jonnylives.com / http://www.10thst.com / Reviewed 08 July 2006