Thursday, 27 November 2014
#12: Johnny Foreigner - You Can Do Better
And they did. Now a four-piece with the addition of long-time artistic contributor Lewes Herriot, the band sound tighter than ever, and the disappointment of Johnny Foreigner Vs. Everything's overwrought stab at grandeur long feels like a long time ago. You Can Do Better is probably the band's most concise collection of songs - there's still the token nod towards might loosely be considered a ballad ('Riff Glitchard'), but on the whole, the softer elements are employed sparingly to complement the more buoyant tracks. The album reaches a glorious peak with 'Le Schwing', a song which encapsulates everything wonderful about Johnny Foreigner: interlocking guitar riffs, playful back-and-forth vocals from Alexei and Kelly ('And it’s on.' 'And it’s off.' 'Yeh it’s on.' 'No, it’s off.' 'No, it’s off.' 'Yeh it’s off.' 'No, it’s on!' etc.), and the chaotic guitar frenzy that any attempt at a middle eight inevitably descends into, eventually pierced by the return of the killer chorus. I feel like I should have grown out of the base-level hit to the pleasure receptors that this kind of pop-punk offers up, but I'm so glad that I haven't.