Album Review: Johnny Wore Black – “Walking Underwater Part 2”

Johnny Wore Black
Walking Underwater Part 2
(Self-Released)

Johnny Wore Black sits in its own little atmosphere of post rock evolved from different genres across rock music. There really isn’t a comparison out there to draw to, but that is what I like about the band. They’re effective as a slow band as noted in “Comfy Slippers.” They’re also really good at writing heavy inspirational track like on “Gift of Desperation.” As a sad artistic guy lingering in and out of depression for the last few years I could feel the sentiment of the lyrics on “Gift of Desperation,” which seem to be a call to Jesus in an attempt to find meaning and validity in a consistently soul crushing world. Yes, this is the mighty track on which the Ellefson cometh. The Lutheran Minister and bass player of Megadeth throws down a heavy backbone on this soul touching track, and appears in the testimonial video. David Ellefson also plays and wrote music for the track “A Cut Above.” Although it feels obvious that Johnny Wore Black has a Christian meaning in their lyrics it’s not at all forced.

Walking Underwater Part 2 could be better if the band didn’t have the same exact tone in every song. It’s the vocalist’s lack of range that really bothers me. Even though I love his lyrics he has no real depth in the delivery. With lyrics that are meant to inspire it gets kind of boring and insipid when the vocalist has the same listless monotone voice. Nevertheless, emotional weariness of the first album carries over to this one in a good way. I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of the band, but they can carry a good tune. Johnny Wore Black have their own sound. In a sea of samesies all trying to be the next hip thing this can be a bit refreshing. Well, I say Johnny Wore Black is a hip thing because they’re not really trying to be hip at all! (Nic P)

Purchase Walking Underwater Part 2 on iTunes here.

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