Johnny Foreigner – Mono No Aware | Album Review

WHEN: JULY 8TH | WHERE: ALCOPOP! RECORDS | LOVE.LIKE.ALRIGHT: LIKE

Years ago I saw a good friend of mine achieve the wonderful feat of contributing some of his own words to a music website. That moment made me feel two things: 1. That’s pretty cool and 2. I wanna do that. Anyway this dude basically became something of an idol to me and that’s how we segway-through-all-of-the-creepy-details-to-get-to me experiencing the sounds of Johnny Foreigner way back in 2011. Their track ‘You vs Everything’ was somewhat of a summer anthem, and with their new album Mono No Aware now released, it’s like everything’s come full circle.

‘Mounts Everest’ kicks off the record with a subdued beginning. A softly spoken vocal is performed on top of what could possibly be the lightest guitar riff the band have made in quite some time, making this beginning not exactly spring out of the gate as expected. Fortunately the following track ‘Undevastator’ returns to the traditional Johnny Foreigner formula by immediately turning everything up to eleven. Let’s get them eardrums bleeding, baby.

The duration of the record continues on this “make them bleed!” stance by delivering hard hitting riff on a conveyor belt of heaviness. The nicely titled ‘I Can Show You the Way to Grand Central’ reveals a lot of the humour that gets thrown into the band’s material, whereas the likes of ‘Don’t, Just Don’t’ and ‘The Worst of Us’ continue to feed the ferocity into something that could become slightly dangerous if consumed too much.

‘If You Can’t Be Honest, Be Awesome’ appears to be this record’s ‘You vs Everything’ right down to the anthemic tee. The soft-ish guitar tone sets off into a mind bending set of riffs which clash and bang their way into oblivion, which is topped off with a nice dashing of warped melodies and hugely passionate vocals that hit all the points into turning this tune into a complete mindfuck. Goodness me.

Johnny Foreigner has been around for ten years and the release of Mono No Aware proudly marks the band’s desire to keep producing music that sounds on the edge of exploding forever. A lot of the material performed in 2016 could easily have appeared on previous records as not a lot has really changed in terms of sound. The guitars are performed with just as much scrappy intensity as ever, the melodies are mashed inbetween layers of scraps and the crashing drums, and the band are still set on keeping the male/female vocal dynamic present.

It could be seen as a bad idea to keep everything similar, but Johnny Foreigner’s output has allowed a niche to be carved into the industry for those who simply want to vent without having to vent, throw limbs around just as hard as the band do, and let loose with their emotions for a bit. Mono No Aware is another solid record from Johnny Foreigner, but doesn’t do too much out of the ordinary to really capture somebody like me who has been aware of their music for quite some time. But that’s okay; Johnny Foreigner can continue to become somebody else’s summer anthem this time around.

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