Wednesday, February 17, 2010
JOHNNY FOREIGNER: GRACE & THE BIGGER PICTURE
Grace and the Bigger Picture
Best Before Records (2009)
Irresistibly sweet and dirty. Genuine, yet dangerous and out of its mind. A more enthusiastic, more garage, less "University Challenge" Bloc Party, with hints of Q And Not U, Robert Smith and a wad of others. It's up-tempo, enthusiastic indie rock, but stick a pin in them and they'll go pop.
Guitarist Alexei Berrow's voice swings from neurotic to acrobatic. Bassist Kelly Southern's switches from cute to scary. And drummer Elvis Junior Washington Laidley keeps the beats as interesting as his handle: from messy punk rock to deft indie pop, always with a hint of the crazies.
Recorded in Brooklyn, New York and produced by Grammy-nominated Alex Newport (Death Cab for Cutie, The Mars Volta), the Birmingham trio's second full length is modern and fashionably hip. But it's also infectiously homemade, sentimental and anti-pretentious. Eccentric, beautiful and scary, yet accessibly straightforward and honest.
Johnny Foreigner have one more show in South Africa (Ramfest IV - Cape Town) and then they're off.
"Your town's run by criminals. Sold you out and closed your clubs, for what? Your town's run by criminals. You're almost all, you're almost all that's left."