Wednesday, August 23

JOHAN


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"

8 Comments:

Anonymous 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

7:53 AM  
Blogger 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:

http://home.no.net/places/sounds/Combat.mp3
http://home.no.net/places/sounds/Silent%20Song.mp3

Chris

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