Johnny Socko - Quatro (Cover Artwork)

Johnny Socko

Johnny Socko: QuatroQuatro (1999)
Rock n Roll Rampage

Reviewer Rating: 2

Contributed by: KirbyPuckettKirbyPuckett
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There's something in the air, could cut it with a knife. This heartache and despair it complicates your life. - Johnny Socko Mix-tapes are cool. It's usually a fun way to showcase someone a handful of new music that they may never have heard before or maybe you're trying to get a girl to realize .
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There's something in the air, could cut it with a knife. This heartache and despair it complicates your life. - Johnny Socko

Mix-tapes are cool. It's usually a fun way to showcase someone a handful of new music that they may never have heard before or maybe you're trying to get a girl to realize you like her so you put a bunch of songs on there that are all lovey dovey. Now there is a procedure to making a mix-tape too, you can't just collect fifteen songs and toss ??em on that cassette with no order or thought behind it. You usually want to start out with a song that grabs your audience's attention quickly and sucks them in, but don't you dare make it the mix's best song! You slowly want to build up to a climax that leaves the listener thinking, "Wow, that was a damn good compilation!" Done successfully you'll inspire them to check out some of those band's material or you'll be making out with her while listening to it.

Anyways, I kind of consider Johnny Socko's effort "Quatro" a mix-tape, a not so good one at that. The record opens up with one of best Ska songs I've ever heard with "Dancin' Queen." The strumming of the guitar in the right speaker quickly fades into filling your left and right ears with an excellent trumpet beat, then all mellows out as Chris Smail's unique voice delivers lyrics of heartbreak across the stereo, then things break out for the chorus that will have you shaking your little rump in no time. This song is lively, upbeat, fun, the best on the record and one of the few I can listen to on a regular basis.

The rest of the album goes as such -- "Rocks In My Head" is sort of like a radio friendly pop-rock song with a trumpet line thrown in here and there. This tune is then followed by the elevator music styled song "Coffee Girl." Good thing I wasted so much energy dancing to the first track because I'm really getting tired. If you were like me though and were falling asleep by this point, track four will sure wake you up. "Old School Master" is a really bad nerd-core rap song; if the opening lines weren't bad enough the female chorus is sure to aggravate you enough to hit the skip button. "Coffee Girl" part too takes up track six "Save Yourself." They follow with an upbeat punk song that flows into a Ska-Punk tune as they "Work That Guitar (for MU330)." "Hey Hey Hi, is sort of like a traditional Ska song. The following song "Devil's Advocate" pumps out a great, Ska song in the vein of the Blue Meanies or Skankin' Pickle. But I was quickly let back down on the bass bumpin' "Sand Between my Toes." Things start to wrap up with "No More Excuses" which has a country feel to it and "Half As Much" finally finishes things up in a funky rock style.

I began comparing this record to a mix-tape because it is different all the way through. No two songs are done in the same fashion, so for all you diversity freaks out there, I strongly recommend you getting this. As for me though, I'm just not feeling the record. I love "Dancin' Queen" & "Devil's Advocate" but the rest just leaves me wanting more songs like those two. Maybe the guys thought taking such a diverse approach to a record would be a good thing, but I felt that it kind of ruined a band that obviously has a lot of potential or maybe they just decided to kick the whole Ska thing like everyone else, but couldn't quite let go.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Left_On_Red (June 30, 2003)

sometimes i have sex to ska. Well actually sometimes i listen to ska while wishing i were having sex but i cant get any because im extremely well whats the word.......HOT!! im just to good for all the girls out here. Actually thats a lie but skai s kick ass and suburban legends is good.

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

High Fidelity was supposed to be on tv today. I had forgotten that until now...I guess I missed it.

Anonymous (June 27, 2003)

How I miss trout...

still, I don't know if I disliked this album because the ska-punk and even the slowed down ska tracks don't do it for me like it used to, or maybe Socko is going downhill...hell, they hardly even play in fort wayne anymore...

still, I like Cows...


IndplsPunk (June 25, 2003)

Johnny Socko kicks ass. One of the only good skunk bands to come out of my shitty hometown of Indianapolis. If you like them check out No Reason Given. they are from zionsville, in. they kick ass too. Also check out Chronic Chaos, The ghosts of fuller (formerly known as Fuller), and project bottlecap.

lieutenant (June 24, 2003)

When I say "his", of course I mean "their". Silly!

lieutenant (June 24, 2003)

I have had never enjoyed the pleasure of Socko live, though I am sure it would be a thrill, to varying degrees at least. As for this album, from what I have heard I am definately not impressed. There is something missing, maybe heart? I agree completly will the commenter who has stated Socko has never really showcased his work so well with a full album. Regardless, this album has its ups.

Oh, and I enjoyed the review, despite the intentional or unintentional High Fidelity similarities.

KirbyPuckett (June 24, 2003)

I loved this review...when it was called "High Fidelity"

I'm busted.

- Scott
(I dig the movie.)

GregSka (June 24, 2003)

I havent heard this cd, just the song Dancing Queen. It's an amazing song, I find it sad that most of the other songs on the cd aren't like it! Anyways, I have a Johnny Socko sticker on my beer funnel, how cool is that?

Anonymous (June 24, 2003)

I loved this review...when it was called "High Fidelity"

gutterhippo (June 24, 2003)

i love this band live! but they're not that great on cd. the only album i ever kind of got into was Full Trucker Effect, there's some good shit on there. anyways, i wouldn't get this cd, i'd save the money to see them live.

Anonymous (June 24, 2003)

An above average album from a band that holds a lot of warm memories for me. A very fun, uniquely diverse band that has a great live set, but no really definitive studio album to showcase their stuff. Go find their double anniversary disc, if you can, since it's got a great live show on it.
When my old band opened for these guys once, they were practicing for one of their legendary hometown Halloween shows. They were going as "Iron Man-eater." Dressed as UPS delivery men they would play a Black Sabbath song immediately followed by a Hall and Oates cover. Classic.

timis (June 24, 2003)

this band should have changed their name when they got the new singer.....

Leandro (June 24, 2003)

the score is for Johnny Bravo

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