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Waited Up 'Til It Was Light

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Album Review

Johnny Foreigner are a Birmingham, England, band with an excess of energy. Their American debut blasts off with the kinetic, catchy opener "Lea Room," which sets the supercharged spirit that rides through the rest of disc. Alexi Berrow and Kelly Southern shout their boy-girl vocals over a frenetic punk-pop pace powered by Berrow's careening guitar playing and Junior Ladley's hyperactive drumming. The trio exudes a refreshing youthful exuberance that is instantly ingratiating. After barreling through the opening trio of tracks, the group really steps it up a level through the superb middle section. The hooks get a little sharper and the singing a little clearer, but the energy never flags. On "Eyes Wide Terrified," a trace of Pavement surfaces in Berrow's jagged vocal cadence; however, Johnny Foreigner boast a bigger beat, as they are more interested in getting listeners jumping around, not just shuffling their feet. The revved-up "The End and Everything After" has almost an anthemic quality, although the lyrics remain a bit too obscure to create an effective rallying cry. This is one of those albums where a lyric sheet comes in handy to get a better sense of what Berrow and Southern are shouting about. One of the disc's entertaining qualities is the singers' lively verbal interplay. They are like two twenty-somethings walking home from a pub. Sometimes their words are like witty little pearls and other times they are slightly boozy ramblings that are hard to understand (one tune is even named "Yes! You Talk Too Fast"); however, it's typically all fun to listen to. In "Salt, Peppa and Spinderella" — a disc highlight and probably their best-crafted tune here — they evocatively observe, "We like to watch the fights break out and end in grief from these cheap plastic seats." Another charming track, "D.J. Get Doubts," a rare quiet number, contains its share of clever couplets, like "These little white lies rip you in two/Like a Christmas cracker." While Johnny Foreigner's manic enthusiasm gives their music an ADD quality at times, it also is what helps to make this delightfully cheeky disc such an exhilarating listening experience.

Customer Reviews

A very nice debut

Good stuff. It feels like natural garage rock. Spinderella is a really nice song.

Biography

Formed: Birmingham, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Johnny Foreigner hails from Birmingham, England, where the trio first honed its blend of noisy co-ed vocals and rambunctious, syncopated chord structures in 2005. The following year saw the release of the band's first single, "Sometimes, in the Bullring," which sold out in two months and received airplay from BBC Radio, London Live, and XFM. Johnny Foreigner had garnered enough attention by 2007 to ink a contract with Best Before Records, and bandmates Alexei, Junior, and Kelly retired to London...
Full bio
Waited Up 'Til It Was Light, Johnny Foreigner
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Rock
  • Released: Jul 22, 2008

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