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The Gay For Johnny Depp Manthology

Gay For Johnny Depp, Manthology

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 1 out of 5

IT’S tempting to write “great name, terrible band” and leave it at that. But if ever an act could be summed up in just four words, then Gay For Johnny Depp can!

Alas, given that I was faced with an album described as “less a greatest hits set and more a badly-edited VHS clip compilation of your favourite squirt-shots”, I think it best to give a little more careful consideration to Manthology.

It’s a gargantuan album, comprised of 31 volatile punk rock tracks and clocking in at over 70 tiring minutes.

Song names exist mostly to shock, with Cumpassion, Fucking Isn’t Cheating and Sex In Your Mouth among the more provocative… while social commentary comes in the form of song titles such as Hey Fucked Up! (Punk Rock Can’t Exist in Countries With Good Social Services) and Belief in God Is So Adorable.

Alas, lyrically you won’t know (or care) what the band are trying to say as each song is delivered in a scream-like wail that makes you wonder how Marty Leopard has a throat left, let alone a voice.

For those that are interested, Manthology features the band’s two highly-sought after EPs Erotically Charged Dance Songs for the Desperate (2004) and Blood: The Natural Lubricant (2005), their debut album The Politics of Cruelty (2007), brand new EP The Ski Mask Orgy (2009), a remix of their single Shh, Put The Shiv To My Throat by Blacksmoke (who have also remixed everyone from A-Ha to Emperor) and tracks from a very rare tour single, of which only 100 copies ever existed.

I guess that makes it sought after… but believe me, listening to the complete album is more akin to self-torture. Gay For Johnny Depp are a deplorable excuse for a punk rock act who fail to contribute anything significant to the genre across all 31 tracks.

The band are described as “the perfect symbiotic melding of GG Allin, Marquis De Sade, Quentin Crisp, Jeff Stryker and The Germs”, while their music is said to represent that point at which the nihilism and paranoia of the late ’90s/early ’00s consumer-driven milieau dissipates and gives way to post-recession, pan-international feelings of ‘hope’ and ‘change’, and ‘more sex’ for everyone.

As such, the band’s approach has been consistently unflinching since their formation in New York in 2004.

Promotional records have come with ‘gay gift hampers’ featuring bottles of amyl nitrate, surgical gloves and visual ‘sauce material’ to aid the listening experience.

And they have also been known to circulate letters from their most ardent fan, a teenager called Bradley, whose love of the band is matched only by his love of banging sailors in downtown YMCAs, and whose angelic face can be seen in the front row of all their shows.

If any of the above turns you on, maybe you should give it a spin. But in all other cases, this is one to run in the opposite direction from. It had to rate as one of the year’s longest and worst listens.

Track listing:

  1. Cumpassion
  2. You Have a Theory, I Have a Gun
  3. Belief in God Is So Adorable
  4. Lights Out!
  5. Noise
  6. Juicy’s Last $ (Point the Finger)
  7. Happens
  8. Very Little Good Happens Between 3 and 4 in the Morning: In Which We Out Paul Stanley
  9. Delirium Approached (Slut Dust)
  10. To the Alcoholics: Life IS Depressing
  11. Here
  12. I Hate Our Freedom (Fuck You Gladys, I’m on Vacation)
  13. Hey Sailor!
  14. No Teeth Thumbs Up
  15. Sex in Your Mouth
  16. Nothing Worse Than a Whining Boy
  17. Shh, Put the Shiv to My Throat
  18. Fucking Isn’t Cheating
  19. Seriously Ted, Just Admit It
  20. Condo Shots (Bad Day to Be a Templar)
  21. Hey Fucked Up! (Punk Rock Can’t Exist in Countries With Good Social Services)
  22. We Bleed America (Dad Get the Cuffs)
  23. No One Knows Anyone, Not Really
  24. Kill the Cool Kids
  25. Lights Out!
  26. She Said, “I Like This One”
  27. At Least Be a Target
  28. He Loved It So Much He Went Mad
  29. Gay for Johnny Depp Inhale Blacksmoke
  30. Godspeed You Black Mogwai
  31. Happy Go Loopy