Johnny Cage - The Motions (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Johnny Cage

The Motions (2007)

Eye for an Eye

In a vast sea of hyped hardcore bands, why haven't I heard a word about Johnny Cage until a recent Revelation distribution update? `90s video game references aside, the band's first full-length delivers fast, intense, dynamic and emotional hardcore not unlike that of, say, Ruiner.

Further listening of The Motions will reveal a couple more original ideas at hand, but it would be silly to say the band has not taken a strong notice of that aforementioned band's 2005 EP, What Could Possibly Go Right.... A throaty and honest scream, slight melodic tinges, a perfectly raw recording, and the same attempts to reach that devastating level of dynamic all find a place on The Motions. "Lost in the Flood" even proclaims at one point, "that the best of the hopeful, careless, wide eyed, love sick kids..." -- sound familiar?

Sometimes Johnny Cage's creative ambition does find the band overstepping their bounds slightly; there's a very cool riff in the excellent "(Superman)," but it suddenly jumps out of rhythm with the song for a few seconds and comes off sounding awkward and a little forced. However, the band seem to know what they're doing otherwise, such as the superb "Hard Luck, Hard Fall" and the flailing "Old Familiar Streets."

Johnny Cage shows an early sense of desperation and accomplishment with The Motions, managing to perfectly channel the freshness of fellow ragers like Life Long Tragedy and the abovementioned Ruiner. Recorded about a year ago, it's unfortunate the album took this long to see a release, because when it's given a spin it's hardly going through its title's implications.

Hard Luck, Hard Fall