Johnny Kills: Who’s Counting? – single review

Johnny Kills 5

Johnny Kills

Who’s Counting?

DL

Out now

Killing Moon Records

Louder than War’s Ioan reviews his favourite ‘self released’ fledglings as they fly the nest and release their first single on a label. 

I’ve been a fan of Johnny Kills for what seems an age now and I’ve championed nearly every release they’ve graced us with (check out the LTW archives!) This lot are still young guns, but they have weathered the release / gig / release / gig / release storm very well and with a stoic maturity. They have also gone and got themselves signed to a record label which is absolutely brilliant.

Following  on  from  last  summer’s  series  of  acclaimed  surf-rock  singles,  Johnny  Kills  emerge  for  the  first  time  in  2018  with  this new  tune  ‘Who’s  Counting’?  As well as myself and Louder than War, Johnny Kills have been earning  champions  including  BBC  Introducing,  The  Line  of  Best  Fit,  DORK,  Indie  Shuffle and  The Metro. Plus  dozens  more  taste maker  radio  stations  and  blogs  with  their  flair  for  delivering  scuzzy  pop  off-cuts. This lot are great at scuzzy pop off-cuts believe you me.

Opening with a drum machine and a deliciously thick and fuzzy bassline, the single launches full pelt with a cracking driving guitar riff and plenty of euphoric “yeah eah eah eah”s. Back to that pulsating bass and the verse kicks in singing about dealing with “split ends” and “dancing to Split Enz”. Great wordplay not heard from this lot before. Nice!

The chorus is impossibly tuneful and brilliantly sung. Combined with that killer riff and ooo that fucking bass (!!!), this has echoes of OK GO and The Cribs. Tim’s voice is maturing and at times he sounds like a young Brett Anderson. The rest of the band are maturing too with their tight musicianship and playfulness. The production is crisp, but not too polished. The guitars and drums are crystal clear and high in the mix as are the vocals, but the band still feel grounded.

This band have always impressed me with their ear for a tune and once again they don’t disappoint. In fact, this is one of the best pop/rock/indie songs I have heard for years. This definitely needs to be picked up and play listed across the country. I can’t recommend this tune enough. It’s just a joy to listen to. And the band are a bunch of genuinely lovely guys. Let Johnny Kills into your life today. You will not be disappointed and you will be humming this tune for days!

Johnny Kills are a trio are made up of  Tim, biological brother Lewis  Lloyd-Kinnings and  spiritual  brother  Cameron Gipp. Aiding  them  in  bringing  their  tracks  to  an  acceptable  auditory  standard  is  Leeds  based  producer  and  Forever  Cult  bassist Alex Greaves (TRASH,  PLAZA,  SeeingHands)  on  production  and  mixing  duties,  with  Pete Maher (Pixies,  Lana  Del  Rey,  Scissor  Sisters)  on  mastering. ‘Who’s Counting?’  is  Johnny  Kills  first  release  on  Killing  Moon  Records and  was released on  all  download  and  streaming  platforms  on  July  4th.

~

Johnny Kills can be found on their FacebookInstagram,  Soundcloud and they tweet as @JohnnyKillsBand.

Words by Ioan Humphreys. More writing by Ioan can be found at his author’s archive. You can also find him on Twitter at @ioan_humphreys.

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