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Presley Johnson - Images of Youth (Review)

Presley Johnson, Images of Youth

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

HAVING found success by releasing their eponymous debut album on independent label Stalkers Records two years ago, Presley Johnson now drop an even more accomplished sophomore effort in Images of Youth.

A rock ‘n’ roll offering that’s steeped in classic values, this channels a number of artists (old and new), while retaining an identity that’s distinctly its own.

Hence, while album opener We Had It All may make you think you’re listening to a new song from The Manic Street Preachers, a track like Oh LOvee just three songs later carries the folk-rock whiff of classic Dylan about it.

There’s a lot to admire too. Oh Love, with its dusky folk sound, is one such highlight. A heart-on-sleeve moment that combines elements of folk and blues, this is steeped in classic songwriting values and all the better for it, right down to neat guitar solo.

Former single Anita’s Last Dance, meanwhile, is constructed around some really endearing guitar licks and a toe-tapping style that belies its bittersweet sentiments.

I Don’t Love My Neighbour is darkly comic and bristles along in endearing troubadour style, My Muse broods nicely with some meatier riffs and a more straightforward rock vibe and The Tuna And The Sweetcorn has an almost doo-wop vibe attached to its harmonies at times, as well as a country-rock feel.

Perhaps more striking, though, is the a capella My Boats Going To Hell which, if anything, has a Deep South vibe, while Home has a thought-provoking lyricism that feels heartfelt and really worth listening to, complete with Hammond organ sound to embellish the instrumentals.

Shoot You Down, meanwhile, rounds off the album with a satisfying acoustic number that comforts by virtue of its warm-hearted sentiments that are designed to help those in need of support.

All told, Presley Johnson have created a genuinely endearing album.

Download picks: Anita’s Last Dance, Oh Love, My Boats Going To Hell, My Muse, Home

Track listing:

  1. We Had It All
  2. Anita’s Last Dance
  3. Sinking Ships
  4. Oh Love
  5. I Don’t Love My Neighbour
  6. My Muse
  7. The Tuna And The Sweetcorn
  8. My Boats Going To Hell
  9. Images of Youth
  10. Home
  11. Shoot You Down