January 1, 2009

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Johnny Foreigner, Waited Up Til It Was Light
Nettwerk Records, Sept. 23, 2008

Like Los Campesinos on rabies, Birmingham, England-based Johnny Foreigner is next-level cacophony in a post-punk age, moving Art Brut’s brand of idiocy along with a very busy cattle prod. Reads like something out of the Brooklyn indie environment, sure, and Nettwerk Records isn’t world-renowned for slinging this kind of thing, but a crazy post-hipster party this is, like a food-fight to the death between Richard Hell and the B-52s, all egged on by a chintzed Peavey-powered guitar running through math-core jazz riffs as the boy-girl duo try to out-freak each other. To keep the vibe in line, the frenzied hamster-races that pass for songs are indistinguishable from one another; they want and deserve no deeper analyses than bemused “this one’s a bit more sexed up,” “this one’s just mental,” utterances. And that’s arguably what rock needs more of nowadays, inarguably what’s missing from indie rock – a rag-tag crew of beer-stinky, broke blighters trying to stand out at the party and taking things quanta further once that goal’s been firmly achieved. B- EWS