John Holmes - Everything Went Blacker (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

John Holmes

Everything Went Blacker (2004)

Household Name

Picking such a name for an album automatically puts some pressure on them. Luckily for this band, they're just unapologetic enough to pull it off. More than anything, John Holmes (haha, John Holmes) rely on a stripped down rock ‘n' roll sound, but they do incorporate other elements.

Although the title would imply otherwise, this isn't full on Black Flag worship. However the influence is evident here, especially in the dissonant guitar tones and in some of the riffs. This is fairly evident in the song "You and Me Against The World." Throughout this album, John Holmes weaves in elements of punk, hardcore, and metal into their sound. They manage to keep things pretty simple, but it's still fun to listen to. Sometimes the tracks blend together a bit, which is one element that holds the band back, but generally, the make their style work. A lot of these songs are fist in the air anthems that are extremely easy to sing along with.

The lyrics aren't brilliant, but they are easy to remember and chant alone with. For example, on the fourth track, :"Henry's Song" the phrase "Don't wanna see you, not gonna talk, ain't gonna listen, just gonna walk" is repeated quite a bit, and it doesn't take long to get this line stuck in your head. It's not pretty, but it gets the job done. The same comment could be made about the band's overall sound.

Although this album drags in places, it's still worth a listen or two. You're not going to listen to this and be wowed by the band's mastery of musical theory, but if you're just looking to drink some beer and rock out, this works just fine. They also deserve some credit for naming a song "Pray For Mojo."

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