Johnny Foreigner - Johnny Foreigner vs Everything (Cover Artwork)

Johnny Foreigner

Johnny Foreigner vs Everything (2011)


After Johnny Foreigner's last attempt in 2009, Grace and the Bigger Picture, I had high expectations for Johnny Foreigner vs Everything, and for the most part those expectations were met. It will certainly please fans of their previous two albums, as their signature noise-pop riffs and anthemic choruses are back in abundance throughout the 17 tracks, adequately dispersed by electronic instrumental and ambient spoken word sections.

Opening with the hideously long winded "If I'm the Most Famous Boy You've Fucked, Then Honey, Yr in Trouble" (one has to wonder why they bothered to shorten "you're"), listeners may be deceived in to thinking they are listening to yet another "land-fill" indie band. This deception lasts all of 30 seconds, as the song transforms in to a chaotic harmony of distorted guitars, crashing cymbals and aggressive (at least by indie pop's standards) vocals, which sets the tone perfectly for the remainder of the album. Vocalists Alexei Berrow and Kelly Southern work perfectly together, whether they are screaming at the top of their lungs ("Electricity vs the Dead") or delivering emotionally charged lyrics ("200x").

Despite all of this, Johnny Foreigner vs Everything is not a perfect album; the spoken word segments,"Concret1" and "Concret2", seem out of place and despite neither being over two minutes, they feel a lot longer. The song titles also leave a lot to be desired, as some are ludicrously long. But this is just a minor qualm.

Comparisons have been, and will continue to be, made between Johnny Foreigner and Los Campesinos!, a better known seven-piece indie band from Cardiff, Wales, who produce a similar brand of distorted pop. Their obvious similarities, however, are only skin deep, and you do not have to look far to find where they differ. Despite being four members shorter than Los Campesinos!, Johnny Foreigner manage to make considerably more noise, as screaming guitars and zealous shouts are much more apparent.

To conclude, Johnny Foreigner vs Everything is a great addition to the band's discography, and delivers exactly what fans of previous albums are looking for. Those who have not heard them before would do well to give "With Who, Who and What I've Got (Standard Rock)" a listen, as this track encompasses the Johnny Foreigner sound.