Review Summary: Quick and painful.
One can only wonder what Johnny Depp himself actually thinks of this band. I mean, how would you react if you were searching for music and came across a band that uses your exact name and is dedicated to screaming about how they want you bleeding and would like to fuck you in the ass? In all fairness, you would be a little freaked out for a while. Depp’s situation is obviously different since he is a celebrity and you are, well, most likely not. Who knows if Depp is even familiar with his underground gay fan-band. Would he be offended upon listening, or would he let out a hearty chuckle? In his early years, Depp actually played the guitar in numerous garage / punk bands, so it is possible that he would find enjoyment and humor in Gay For Johnny Depp’s music.
For those of you who are not familiar with the New York-based quartet, Gay For Johnny Depp was a hardcore band that was “known” for their homoerotic lyrics often pertaining to Johnny Depp. The band’s songs are typically between one and three minutes long and consist of chaotic vocals and instrumentations. Their second and final full-length, 2011’s What Doesn’t Kill You, Eventually Kills You
, follows a formula similar to one easily audible on the band’s previous releases: the songs remain short (no song exceeds three minutes here), the titles and lyrics are frequently references to homosexual thoughts and situations, and the band continues to approach their songwriting in a quirky manner. So, if this is the case, what is the key difference between this and Gay For Johnny Depp’s previous releases? With all things considered, the biggest difference is that What Doesn’t Kill You
is fun to listen to from start to finish.
The songs here are as crazy as the songs found on their 2007 debut, The Politics of Cruelty
. This album, however, features a much greater sense of diversity amongst its tracks, allowing its listeners to remain exempt of thoughts such as “when will something interesting happen?” or “is this going to be over soon?” What Doesn’t Kill You
also sounds as though the band focused somewhat less on the amount of offensive material included in the music and focused more on the musical composure itself. The band finds great ways to make transitions from the racket of total chaos to a more comfortable and settling sound, and vice versa. Gay For Johnny Depp waste no time in proving that they carry this skill; the album opens with the track “Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Artistic Integrity” which starts off noisy guitars and screechy vocals, yet manages to ease its way into a soft area by making use of clean vocals, guitar chords with less distortion, and a gradual decrease in tempo. Bassist “Chelsea Piers” is a driving force on What Doesn’t Kill You
, often implementing some of the most captivating instrumentals that the album has to offer (a good example of this would be Piers’ contribution on “Suckcess”). The use of an easily audible and distinctive bass guitar gives the album a punk rock-like style similar to earlier punk rock acts such as The Ramones.
Gay For Johnny Depp could have easily expanded What Doesn’t Kill You
a good ten minutes or so by adding more content to certain sections to make them more interesting. “We Are The World? Burn It Down!”, for example, is a significantly softer track that serves its purpose by giving listening ears a break from the musical madness. But what else is the song good for? Nothing, really. The song could have easily been extended to include some unique characteristics, especially since it is immediately followed by the significantly catchier and, in a way, goofier “Rod Don’t Surf,” which includes a fun punk / surf rock tune and a man bitching about success. It is possible that Gay For Johnny Depp were aiming toward an album that had the same effect as Slayer’s Reign in Blood
, an album that begins abruptly, destroys everything it touches, and departs quickly after arrival. If this is the case, then it is what they’ve been aiming for ever since the release of their debut, and have obviously not achieved their goal properly until the release of What Doesn’t Kill Me
Gay For Johnny Depp doesn’t necessarily break any boundaries with What Doesn’t Kill You, Eventually Kills You
. It’s definitely not unheard of that a hardcore / punk band includes offensive lyrical themes and raw musical production. Gay For Johnny Depp do, however, find a great way to implement humor into their music and manage to finally create an all-around fun collection of songs that any fan of hardcore music could easily listen to.
She Has The Hottest Limp (It's All Noize)
No, I’m Married to Jesus. Now Keep Your Fucking Hands Off of Him.
Rod Don't Surf