Johnny Foreigner

October 21, 2007

Please flashback to 1995, when Oasis and Blur were battling for the title of undisputed champions of popular British music, putting forth (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? and The Great Escape, respectively. While the bands claimed to share little more than common accents and stakes on the Beatles’ legacy, each was forced to fight against the overwhelming shadow of the Pacific Northwest musical movement that had dominated the early nineties. One could easily imagine all parties involved referring to much of the popular American music of the day as “rubbish.”

So fast forward to 1997: Blur succumbs to increasing American indie influences and releases their most popular album stateside to date, while Oasis essentially disappears from the global pop music radar. Since, Albarn has increasingly laid claim to multiple musical genres and remained relevant through various groups, including the hugely popular Gorillaz. The brothers Gallagher have recently re-emerged, here, and we’ll see for how long they remain stable.

Ten years after the Blur transformation, Johnny Foreigner emerge from across the pond, providing a revival of sorts of a musical time capsule that was previously much maligned by their fellow countrymen. Johnny Foreigner sounds like your favorite bands back from high school and college (if you were there in the late 90’s). People describe them as Cap’n Jazz meets the Dismemberment Plan, channeled through Pretty Girls Make Graves, Sleater-Kinney, and Rainer Maria, while playing Bloc Party covers to a bunch of people who have never heard of The Most Secret Method. It’s a fairly accurate description. (Check out the list of influences on their Myspace profile!)

The band was featured on Channel 4’s Road to V, which seems to be some form of reality television band competition that is likely the source material for lamer American versions, and has popped up on music sites and blogs across the world, including none other than Pitchfork. It remains to be seen if Johnny Foreigner herald a new wave of cool Brit indie bands, or merely represent a lucky momentary break in the space-time continuum.

Recently the band signed to Best Before Records, and are slated to release a debut “mini-album” called Arcs Across the City in late November. Some of their new songs are streaming on their Myspace page, and they sound quite rad. Quite rad, indeed.

Road to V – interview and “Sofacore”

Listen: Our Bipolar Friends, Yes! You Talk Too Fast (almost finished). Download their demo for free here.

2 Responses to “Johnny Foreigner”

  1. all4zik Says:

    You have a nice work here friend
    come visite me on site

  2. alexei foreigner Says:

    wow thank you ver much man. american reviews are always more fun cos youse actually know the bands we listen to. but that road to v thing was just as lame as its usa versions…

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