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Top Johnny! - Kick It! (EP)

07-Apr-2006 12:54 AM Contributed by: pete Music Reviews
Top Johnny! - Kick It! EP
7 Track CD
© 2005 StarBrite Productions
http://www.topjohnny.com/
[Speaker] Listen to Watching Me  [Speaker]
Enema Rating:
Top Johnny! (exclamation point included) is a Montreal-based band that describes itself as an all-original high intensity party band, which may not be a bad description. Led by TJ STAR (songwriter, lead guitar, vocals, synth), this four member band creates a rather bizarre blend of music that is hard to classify. The best description I can think of is a cross between 80's rock, techno, and dance music.

The EP is essentially 6 songs, but it has a 7th bonus song that is a 126bpm TJ's ClubHouse Remix version of the first song Kick It! Even though the tracks demonstrate a variety of styles, the one constant is a combination of high energy and rock-distorted guitar riffs. The vocals go from Cher-style processed dance vocals, right through to rap in a song called H.I.P. that echoes the sounds of C+C Music Factory (as does the next song Red Alert!) . Just like the band and album name, the song titles and lyrics are loaded with exclamation marks. The basic chord guitar riffs are often repetitive, but they are sometimes broken up by hard hitting rock-style solos. It could be just me, but the guitar distortion and style sometimes reminds me of 80's television show theme songs.

The one song that stood out for me, in a bad way, is titled Jungle and starts with the lyrics "Living in a concrete jungle" and then heads directly into "shacka lacka boom" territory, following up with the not-so-original "gimme that jungle beat". Oh well, it's easy to ignore one track, I do it on many CDs. Perhaps that song should be reserved for the live shows only. Just a suggestion.

Each time I listened to a song looking for the words to describe it, I'd hear something different. Sometimes it bordered on heavy metal, other times it was the dance beat, and still other times I could only hear the techno synth sound. Unfortunately, none of what shines through in these songs falls into my natural listening habits, so this music isn't really for me. Top Johnny! is definitely original, the band members are clearly professionals, and I'll bet their live performances are anything but boring. In fact, I'll go so far to say that I'm willing to bet Top Johnny! can get a crowd moving and jumping. So for listeners who gravitate toward any of the mentioned musical genres and are looking for something new and unique, Top Johnny! may provide you with a high energy injection.

Visit their official website or Top Johnny! MySpace page for more information about the band.


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