Follow Us on Twitter

Johnny Foreigner - Waited Up 'Til It Was Light

Johnny Foreigner, Waited Up Til It Was Light

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

BIRMINGHAM-based Johnny Foreigner have been hotly tipped for great things since the release of their Arcs Across The City mini album in 2007. Now that they’ve finally delivered their debut LP, I can only admit to feeling disappointed.

Granted, Waited Up ‘Til It Was Light is as frantic a slice of indie rock as its PR suggests, but there’s very little melody, very little coherence, and very little to engage.

The two boys and one girl that make up this three-piece belt out frenzied guitar riffs and trade vocal duties in such ramshackle fashion that the energy of the songs quickly becomes draining.

Album opener Lea Room begins with a fairground-style melody that hints at something melodic, before exploding into a frenzy that becomes the mainstay of the album.

The main problem, however, lies with Alexei’s voice. His guitar work is shot through with spiky riffs that could be engaging in a post-Strokes kind of “been there” kind of way. But his yelping, frantic style tends to grate and it’s almost a relief when Kelly takes the lead on any song.

Hence, the opening of Our Bipolar Friends emerges as one of the better tracks thanks to her intro and Alexei’s mighty guitar riffs. He does, of course, threaten to ruin things whenever he opens his mouth; but thankfully the song gets by on the riffs and Kelly alone.

Ironically, the best tracks find Johnny Foreigner reigning things in and actually bothering to develop on melodic structure. But you have to wait a while. Djs Get Doubts, for instance, is an acoustic cracker that finds Alexei actually singing for a change, perfectly complimenting Kelly’s bittersweet style.

While there’s a fun sensibility to the feisty Yr All Just Jealous, which proclaims “hot girls know the words to our songs” as its opening line. It suggests they’re not bothered about the critics, so long as the babes keep singing. And you have to admire them for that.

But such moments only endear them so much and the album’s relentless, in yer face and, quite frankly, unstructured style eventually becomes a turn off. And that’s really not a good thing.

Download picks: Djs Got Doubts, Our Bipolar Friends, Yr All Just Jealous, The Hidden Song At The End Of The Record

Track listing:

  1. Lea Room
  2. Our Bipolar Friends
  3. Eyes Wide Terrified
  4. Cranes And Cranes And Cranes And Cranes
  5. End And Everything After
  6. Hennings Favourite
  7. Salt Pepper And Spindarella
  8. Yes You Talk Too fast
  9. DJ’s Get Doubts
  10. Sometimes In The Bullring
  11. Yr All Just Jealous
  12. Absolute Balance
  13. Hidden Song At The End Of The Record