Sweet Jonny – Sweet Jonny
1 Devil What He’s Due
2 Sick In The Summer
3 Crack Of The Whip
5 American Psycho
6 Mr Know It All
9 Mother Knows Best
11 It Matters Not
12 Kill Your Poets
Tom Backshall, Vocals/ Guitar
Jonny Pinder, Drums
Tom Jenn, Bass
Following on from 2013’s ‘JSA’, 2015’s ‘Softcore’ and 2017’s ‘Spanish Fly’ eps, Sweet Jonny, the Gutter Garage Rock band from Brighton England, have just released their self titled debut album. I was invited to share my thoughts on this hugely anticipated release.
Containing 12 tracks “Sweet Jonny” the album kicks off with the gutsy “Devil What He’s Due”, Tom Backshall’s voice is loud and strong, my immediate thoughts turn to early The Boomtown Rats, I can almost imagine Geldof taking the lead on this one. With powerful military style drumming from Jonny Pinder, “Devil What He’s Due” becomes an excellent choice for the opener. Next up “Sick In The Summer” follows a similar vein to the punk sounds of The Stranglers and UK Subs. The gutter is soon introduced in the splendid “Crack Of The Whip”. “Crack Of The Whip” has a very eerie, almost mysterious sound to it. There’s some excellent bass work from Tom Jenn on this track.
The band seem to be in a fighting mood with “Wither”, Tom Backshall is at his angriest here as he threatens to challenge anyone that’s listening. “American Psycho” continues the angry mood, this 3 minute rock epic will have you shouting at your speakers. “Mr Know It All” is slightly calmer, but still has that fist pumping edge to it. “Animals” soon follows and is quite a layered track with several time changes that work. It starts off like an early rockabilly single, but soon gets the Sweet Jonny swagger treatment. “Animals” for me, is the best track on the album. Again the vocals are perfect and the whole song kicks butt.
“Suckerpunch” is next and sounds like it could become a live favourite, I can hear the crowd shouting “He suckerpunches out” already. “Mother Knows Best” is a return to punk routes. The excellent guitar work drives along to an angry ending. “Pathos” is almost a manifesto for the angry young man. It is nasty and vicious, but awesome at the same time. “It Matters Not” finds Tom Backshall looking back and summing things up. It’s honesty is quite disturbing, you almost feel sorry for him……almost. “Kill Your Poets” closes the album. It has a bit of a Pogues feel to it. Another story that holds your attention and will have you wondering in despair.
‘Sweet Jonny’ delivers strong, steady music on every track and some seriously good vocal performances throughout. Highlights include the brilliant “Crack Of The Whip”, The forcefulness of “It Matters Not” and the best song on the album “Animals”
The album shows a band that wants to be heard. The production has a very live sound to it, which is perfect for the style of music that they play. It is an album that leaves the listener wanting to see the band perform these songs live. Now that has to be a good thing.
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Band location – Brighton England
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