Around Your Neck
For a while it seemed everything coming out of Scandinavia was some sort of weird black death metal played by tattooed Vikings with horned helmets. Hopefully, that phase is over, and the harbinger of a kinder, gentler musical invasion is Johnny Superhero and its new 6-song EP. In Johnny’s world, love songs still count, rejection by your best girl can’t be salved over by the next groupie in line, and missing a few guitar chords isn’t sloppiness, it’s just a mild emo attack. This quad from Finland isn’t exactly Peter, Paul, and Mary, but they can play feedback well enough and their rhythm, lead, bass, and drum kit mean there are no spectacular electronic effects to clutter their straightforward, if depressing, lyrics. Antti Reiko writes some touching material and lets you know “there’s a sudden rush of missing you” and “The Iron Bird flies away” and “there’s an overwhelming rush of endorphins to find her such a real human being.” You can smell the hormones dripping off the disc.
When not musing over love, “Dead Rock Stars” follows our musical heroes’ career. After a hit or two, first we worship them, then bash them for changing or not changing style, until they overdose. If they die we think fondly of them in a few years, if they survive we laugh at them in the tabloids and smirk at their pathetic 20-year reunion tour at the American Stage at Epcot. While not a feel-good band, Johnny Superhero can mix up styles and write clever songs that almost stick in your brain. It’s emo, but in a good way.
Johnny Superhero: www.johnnysuperhero.net