Wednesday, August 23


After sating ourselves in Sweden, we have been beckoned to the Netherlands to take a gander at the thoroughly Swedish-sounding band Johan. These guys released their first album in 1997. At the time, All Music Guide gushed that it "marr[ied] the jittery indie guitar strum of the Wedding Present to the cool, ironic retro-pop charms of the Cardigans and the manic hooks of the best Buzzcocks singles." Yikes! "Damning high praise" alert!

Granted, I haven't been able to lay ears on that first, self-titled album, but I have heard the two follow-ups - Pergola and THX JHN. Now, please understand, I obviously like the sound of these guys (thus, this post), but I can't help thinking that AMG is over-selling them just a bit with that rather breathless description. To me, they sound highly pleasant; a bit mellow; hardly revolutionary.

But here's the thing (and I may need a little assistance here): Lead singer Jacob de Greeuw sounds like a dead ringer for the singer of a band we're all familiar with, but, for the life of me, I can't think of the name of that singer or the name of that band. Please. Help. Me. Before. I. Go. Completely. Insane.

[Actually, is it Neil Finn? From Crowded House? Have I seen the light? Oh hell, I don't know....]

[Get to know Johan just a little bit better by visiting their MySpace page [here].]

From the LP THX JHN, 2006 >>>
[MP3] "Walking Away"
[MP3] "Oceans"

From the LP Pergola, 2001 >>>
[MP3] "Day is Done"
[MP3] "Why CP"


Anonymous said...

i really cant see the wedding present/cardigans/buzzcocks comparison at all (in fact since i'm no fan of any of the above combos, i wouldn't dig Johan at all if they did sound like these bands. and yet i rate Johan very highly indeed.the first album is also good, if i was going to make comparisons it would be the more melodic side of The Posies with a bit of Neil Finn thrown in . Though to me if we arte talking about truly great bands then Johans labelmates Daryll Ann are the one. I think Daryll Ann are on of the most unique , importat and most joyful bands of the last ten years, they easily fall into my top ten bands of all time. go check them out.
Mick Dillingham

Chris said...

Wow! Just how great is Walking Away??? Thanks for the tipp!

Voice-vice, it reminds me a bit of Norwegians Lano Places. And I agree with that Neil Finn bit. And sometimes a hint of Toad The Wet Sprocket. Adds up to quite a good mix! :)

Listen to Lano Places here, two excellent songs:


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