Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Jonny Lives! - Revolution For Free
Mimic (disambiguation). It is that effort to imitate something else. Imitation. Fake. Something that is not the real thing but tries to appear to be the real thing. Yet, bands that mimic successful bands are not necessarily fakes or imitations. There is a whole cottage industry in “cover bands” that faithfully mimic the originals down to the feather boas and black tights. These are the “fake” bands that mimic the original bands.
There is a completely separate side to successful band mimicry and it depends on what the band mimics. Many music genres are made up solely of mimicry. The bands in a genre sound alike because they mimic a style and feel of music. They take you on a similar journey, with similar tools, but usually with their own twist.
Jonny Lives!’ new release, Revolution For Free, mimics Green Day on the track “Parking Lot” and Coldplay on “Still Dreaming. The mimicry continues with a early Beatles-like effort on the cut “Your Money Or Your Life,” a flashback attack of the Kinks on “Breaking Down,” and a Kokomo-era Beach Boys on “Vagabond Lovers.” The band also lets go with punk and pop rock pieces that may remind you of someone else’s music or style - maybe a prescription of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, a shower of Fountains of Wayne or a kick or two of The Clash.
Jonny Lives! may sound familiar but the band and its music is hardly fake. Revolution For Free is energetic, well-written, well-produced and well-performed. The band, anchored by frontman Jonny Dubowsky, puts out a solid and thoroughly enjoyable recording.
The saying is “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” I picture Hall of Fame rockers listening to Revolution For Free, wry smiles curling their lips as they hear sounds that remind them of their recordings, then raising devil horns - rock on! Jonny Lives!
- Old School