As indie veterans Johnny Foreigner this year mark their tenth birthday as a band, we’re treated to a brand new 14 track album to mark a special decade. Following 2014’s ‘You Can Do Better’, ‘Mono No Aware’ is a breath of fresh air to a scene that’s hard to keep up with and lead singer Alexei Berrow states, “I am way too emotionally invested to tell you objectively if this next record is awesome or a failure. Or worse, somewhere in the middle.”
Opening with the raw acoustic ‘Mounts Everest’ we are welcomed back to the smooth harmonisations of Berrow and bassist Kelly Southern’s warm vocal tones mixed with melancholy guitar. Next, ‘Undevestator’ is packed full of energy with a synth-y, warped entrance and the crunch of indie rock percussion making its mark once again. ‘I Can Show You The Way To Grand Central’ borders on pop roots whilst keeping their truly original touch.
Later on, Berrow’s fears of being “somewhere in the middle” are truly abolished as ‘Our Lifestyles Incandescent’ welcomes a harmonisation of female vocals and seems to be another acoustic track but is later joined by fuzzed out guitar and group vocals which will turn to be a crowd pleaser for sure. ‘Into The Veldt’ is similar as it once again welcomes the unified bouncy group vocals and is a pinnacle of the sound that they pride themselves on.
‘All Yr Favourite Bands Are Dead’ is a perfect finale showcasing their catalogue of ideas. Unless that is you stick around for bubbly bonus track ‘Flooding’, a sweet treat that is packed with energy from start to finish.
Johnny Foreigner have truly put their all into the album that celebrates 10 years’ work to maintain their classic sound and is one lovely listen from all the way through.
’Mono No Aware’ by Johnny Foreigner is released on 8th July via Alcopop! Records.
Words by Phoebe Messenger (@kangaezu_ni)