Johnny Foreigner - Johnny Foreigner vs Everything

Johnny Foreigner are one of those bands that sound like they exist to play live. Sure, they can be great on record, but there is an energy that desperately wants to break loose from the constraints of the stereo. On this, their third album, JF maintain a careful balance between straight up, indie pop playlist fodder and genuinely thoughtful, instrumentally driven art-rock. They know their audience: after touring extensively with ‘twee-as-fuck’ indie rockers Los Campesinos!, both acts are building their sound increasingly around the lives and loves of literate young adults (basically students).

At a glance JF may appear as just another band driven by hooks, but the album's diverse vocals, (oh so pretentious) song titles ('If I'm The Most Famous Boy You've Fucked, Then Honey, Yr In Trouble', 'Hulk Hoegaarden, Gin Kinsella, David Duvodkany, Etc', and so on) and scholarly lyrics are both grating and admirable in equal measure. Mid-album highlight 'Supermorning' with its graceful synthesis of math and dream rock confirms Johnny Foreigner as accomplished musicians in their own right yet at nearly an hour in length, with two questionable spoken word tracks, JF Vs Everything is hardly concise. Then again, when is young life ever simple? Johnny Foreigner sound like they should; they fill the room and immediately you wish were there with them. Can’t ask for much else from a band who declare war on everything.

Overall

6

out of 10

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