Johnny Foreigner
Certain Songs Are Cursed


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
April 25th, 2011 | 19 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "You had your worst ever heartbreak to f**king 'Run' by f**king Snow Patrol."

There's a point in every person's exploration of music and the range of emotions it can provide us with which tips the balance of power. Simply put, it's the moment at which you give melodies and lyrics - the latter, especially - permission to follow you around. Oftentimes, it happens without us realising, until months down the line at a house party we hear that song on the radio and it brings back the inexplicable surge of something you got somewhere a long time ago. 'Certain songs are cursed,' say Johnny Foreigner, and they're not wrong. You don't choose these songs; they don't choose you. It's just an unfortunate collision.

With that in mind, it immediately becomes much easier to define Johnny Foreigner's mission statement: to provide the type of song that you wouldn't mind having as your cursed song. Because the Birmingham-based noise-indie-pop-rock-whatever demigods have a habit of writing music that has an open discourse with listeners, the effect of which is an honest conversation which accepts the confusing hesitations and impulses of any young person. This is so apparent in the closer to this 11-minute EP that it's scary; the track closes with a vocal sample of a fan talking about being 'able to quell those emotions with the briefest of facial ticks,' before going on to elucidate the theme of the EP with succinct brilliance.

Musically, Certain Songs Are Cursed is as sweet as it is short, showcasing the band's feisty and dizzying style of noise-pop on opener 'What Drummers Get' (the answer to which is, apparently, 'everything') and drifting into more pensive territory as the track listing progresses. The guitars drop from a screech to a strum but maintain the same character, and 'Johnny Foreigner Vs You (Cursed Version)' even makes rare but heartfelt use of piano as the backdrop to Alexei Berrow's distinct and unique lyrical stylings. But whether the band are playing at breakneck speed or stripping their songs down to single-instrument level, the brilliant mixing and melodies dissolve the wall between the amps and the speakers.

The limited edition of Certain Songs Are Cursed came packaged on a frisbee. It would be all too easy to twist that into a metaphor for the relationship Johnny Foreigner have with their fans, but it would be easier still to simply recommend this unassuming but quite superb burst of energy and release of tension. So that's what I'll do.

How you tried to play along, but your steps were wrong, and all your friends took up the second verse while you just blushed and felt the worst.



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user ratings (8)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
April 25th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

gonna keep promoting this band because they keep ruling

also i like 'run' but the summary quote rules so

iFghtffyrdmns
April 25th 2011


7047 Comments


thought it said Johnny Hobo for a second and I was about to be really stoked about a new Johnny Hobo record. but then I was let down.

Knott-
Emeritus
April 25th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

except if you listened to this you wouldn't be let down at all

DoubtGin
April 25th 2011


6752 Comments


so productive

SeaAnemone
April 25th 2011


20834 Comments


Knott and Johnny Foreigner sittin' in a tree... k-i-s-s-i-n-g...

your review is good, but this -"came packaged on a frisbee"- is just awesome.

I'll listen to this once I get tired of "Salt, Pepper, and Spinderella" but that'll be like never so I'll probably hear this within the week.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
April 25th 2011


7403 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I need to give this band a proper listen, I remember liking the little I've heard from them.

AggravatedYeti
April 25th 2011


7685 Comments


still need to hear this band.
my requisite emotionally-scathing-indie-pop itch is at its height right now and there's no new LC! or Titus Andronicus albums in sight. This may satiate me oh jyeah.

also I'd talk about how well put together this review is but I mean its not like I need to do that anymore : )

wabbit
April 25th 2011


7020 Comments


I'd get this but I base whether or not I should get or like an album based off it's art.

Great review.



Ponton
Emeritus
April 25th 2011


5815 Comments


album art for you*

surprise surprise more ghosts

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

Knott-
Emeritus
April 25th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cheers, jdog

album art rules

Satellite
April 26th 2011


20826 Comments


nice. i definitely need to hear this.

true story: this was the first band i ever got into via sputnik. you rec'd waited to me on my old account.

Knott-
Emeritus
April 26th 2011


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

What was your old account?!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 26th 2011


7318 Comments


Irving read. Irving like. Irving pos.

Go Sheffield Wednesday.

Digging: Portishead - Dummy

Satellite
April 26th 2011


20826 Comments


traffichaze

it was mostly just used for lurking purposes

Phideaux
April 26th 2011


1655 Comments


I keep meaning to listen to these guys. Mainly because of your reviews. Guess I should get to it. Good review, obviously .

wonarabbit, are you the evolved form of couldwinarabbit?

Piglet
April 26th 2011


4663 Comments


Actual great band.

Phideaux
April 26th 2011


1655 Comments


K. I like these guys a lot. Just ordered Waited Up Til It Was Light on Amazon.

iluvtweepop
May 10th 2011


463 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

when i saw these they opened with 'johnny foreigner v you' and i had no idea what it was then
'mazing ep

Beauville88
May 18th 2011


225 Comments


Jesus, these guys release so much stuff that I can't keep up.



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