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The Johnstones - Word Is Bond Album Cover

The Johnstones - Word Is Bond

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8.1
The Johnstones - Word Is Bond
Release Date: September 19th, 2006
Record Label: Stomp Records

It's a lone, remarkable achievement for any act to hold a breathtaking, organized, yet chaotic performance to their name, but authentic appeal is solidified when that same act manages to carefully preserve that on-stage energy, and present it in a conspicuous, parallel form on a compact disc. While this feat was undoubtedly attained early into The Johnstones' career, who recently signed with Canadian ska label Stomp Records, it's but one of several the Ajax, Ontario quintet are bound to consummate. On Word Is Bond, the group's debut, full-length release, the band escalates their trademark, signature sound by incorporating elements of rap, pop-punk, and punk rock into their already solitary mixture, all the while catapulting their overall charm to astounding new heights.

It may possibly appear as a tad bit predictable, but the compliments pouring into one's mind are nearly endless whilst placing this release under the microscope. While the band has their flaws alike any other, the group's imperfections are so miniscule that mere nitpicking would feel rather contemptible. Perhaps the band's most admirable parameter, however, is these six musician's incontestable growth, advancement, and evolution. To be entirely honest, the act's earliest supporters may quite possibly find themselves bewildered at the musical maturation The Johnstones sound has encountered, and while the band's new face is rather difficult to become accustomed to, the final product is certainly accesible enough for any listener.

The album opens itself with "No Time For The Moment", a raucous, brusque, ska-punk offering, which not only distinguishes the band from their contemporaries, but characterizes the album's sweeping projection, as well. However, from the first track onwards, a slight, diminutive drawback is immoderately evident, and while it's nothing than more than a spot of rust on a luminous coin, I stand by the notion that blemishes are best off in the spotlight early into an album's career. While each of the fourteen tracks on Word Is Bond are ultimately impressive in their own right, at times the band's chaotic approach is quite overwhelming, and the songs (mainly due to lyrical content, as well as vocal tones) possess a feeble tendancy to run together. For example, on "L.A.D.I.E.S", the record's second (and coincidentally, fourteenth) track, it's almost burdensome to be conclusively aware of everything that's happening, and while specific critics may view this as yet another stroke on an a tally tabulating the band's abilities, to call it anything less than somewhat taxing would feel foolish.

However, it appears that for every disfigurement The Johnstones may stumble upon, they're ready and willing to fire back with a handful of redeeming, captivating characteristics. On "I Know My Name", the group presents one of their commendable efforts their career has witnessed thus far, which not only calls for a sigh of relief, but a boisterous round of applause. "Livin' In The Gutter", the album's fourth track, exposes the band's humorous, whimsical lyrics, as well as the unique vocal stylings of both lead guitarist Rene Gillezeau and drummer Ryan Long. Furthermore, the act's horn section, which consists of trumpeter Jarek Hardy and trombonist Julian Warme, is surprisingly shimmering, and the arrangements are far from unintellectual. On "Sunny Days", the band perform acoustically, and while The Johnstones have constructed a formula built upon energy and a dynamic approach, the atypical offering is rather absorbing.

Now, with a heap of compliments under my belt, the time has come for me to label myself a critic. But, before you jump down my throat, allow me to apologize for examining music from an unbiased, logical standpoint. How do The Johnstones and their highly-anticipated, long-awaited, full-length, Word Is Bond, hold up in comparison to the remainder of the "scene"? While it is exceptionally challenging to measure each on a similar scale, The Johnstones do relay analogous aspects on a rare occasion we've seen far too many times before. Additionally, the band's lyrics, which could quite easily find themselves labelled as "cheesy", "unintelligent", or "brainless", are entertaining for a moment or two, but unfortunately, the album holds little lasting value in terms of lyrical content. However, the equation is a simple one, and a walk in the park for any mathematician; Word Is Bond wasn't engraved by poets, and it sure isn't aimed at those in search of poetry.

Yet, allow me to reiterate the statement that for miniscule pitfall Word Is Bond may call itself home to, The Johstones offer a handful of illustrious gems only waiting to be discovered. The quintet's songwriting has improved phenomenally, the concept is beauteous, and the album, as a whole, is as infectious as a rapidly spreading disease. Unfortunately, with the current state of the industry, The Johnstones' approach to entertainment will likely be overlooked, but this critic urges each and every one of you to give this release the honest chance it deserves. If you enter this project with an open-mind, I promise you'll be making a Bond with The Johnstones in no time.

For Fans OfReel Big Fish, Suicide Machines, Mustard Plug, Keepin' 6, and Less Than Jake
ListenAP.net Profile | MySpace | pureVOLUME | Stomp Records
This review is a user submitted review from Brandon Allin. You can see all of Brandon Allin's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15
07:42 PM on 09/27/06
#2
MomentOfSilence
http://sistercityband.com
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This one goes out to Brandon: Good review, though I don't know if I'd rate it quite that high.

+1 self esteem points.
07:42 PM on 09/27/06
#3
Brandon Allin
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This one goes out to Brandon: Good review, though I don't know if I'd rate it quite that high.

+1 self esteem points.
You're my hero. :)
09:32 PM on 09/27/06
#4
Skadude
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im likin this band alot, there are so few ska-punk bands left that i was into, im always really excited when i find a new 1 like this..at some points the voice of 1 of the guys makes me laugh cuz he sounds like a muppet but maybe im just crazy
09:34 PM on 09/27/06
#5
Brandon Allin
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im likin this band alot, there are so few ska-punk bands left that i was into, im always really excited when i find a new 1 like this..at some points the voice of 1 of the guys makes me laugh cuz he sounds like a muppet but maybe im just crazy
As ridiculous as the muppet comparison may sound, I, too, can hear the similiarity.

Thanks for reading. :)
09:38 PM on 09/27/06
#6
Skadude
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yea its a very unique voice, no other vocalist sounds like this guy ive ever heard
09:42 PM on 09/27/06
#7
Brandon Allin
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yea its a very unique voice, no other vocalist sounds like this guy ive ever heard
There's alot of dual vocal work on the album. The band's drummer, Ryan Long, manages to sing, play fairly complex drum beats, and spin each of his sticks between beats a handful of times in each song. It's actually mesmerizing to watch the guy perform.
10:50 PM on 09/27/06
#8
1Roth4
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two
06:54 PM on 12/13/06
#9
Ska Fanatic
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Ryan is sitting beside me right now, and let me say wow! DREAMY!
11:44 PM on 08/10/07
The Kid's Table
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I dunno, I think they're pretty amazing. I was just really glad that muchmusic or whatever, was playing some good tunes, i pretty much freaked when i heard them. "Gone For A Long Time" [yeah, freak on me for mentioning the single and not the other songs, I can take it, it's the best song on there] reminds me in an odd way of Operation Ivy's "Sound System". On acid.
09:44 AM on 08/13/07
pezcore24
eat it.
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ryan has probably the trippiest vocals ever. hes definitely got some fucking talent there!
the band as a whole has so much energy and they totally know how to throw a damn good show. theyve impressed me every time!
im madly in love with this band, and i want them in my pants....all of them.....at the same time.
11:29 PM on 08/19/07
The Kid's Table
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i want them in my pants....all of them.....at the same time.
too bad, they're gonna be in mine!
jk, can we share
11:33 PM on 08/19/07
The Kid's Table
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p.s yay for pezcore
less than jake are the amazingest band that ever was, ever.
'cept maybe In With The Out Crowd, but to have a criticism now would be sounding like a broken record of every internet review of that album ever.
05:10 PM on 05/30/08
laviniaa
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1) "these six musician's"
There are 5 of them

2) Jarek plays lead guitar and sings, he doesn't play trumpet at all

3) Rene plays the trumpet and ON OCCASION guitar
10:22 PM on 12/11/08
SkaFTW
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1. Jarek DOES play the trumpet, he mainly sings and plays guitar.

2. Rene is lead guitar, MC and trumpet.

3. Great review.


Just check the Johnstones myspace if you want info about them anyways.

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