Review of Get Steady EP by Jonny Lives

Jonny Lives!
Get Steady EP
EP Review

Jonny Lives Get Steady EP

Ever wondered what Razorlight would sound like if they were actually American? Well wonder no more, because Jonny Lives! have released their debut EP, Get Steady. And big things are clearly expected of the NYC trio after they pulled off the amazing feat of getting column inches in the New Monkeys Express despite not hailing from Sheffield.

Sleazy guitar riffs and tales of the murky city are here in abundance, a combination which is soooo hot right now, and will be sure to propel them into the mainstream way before the rock 'n' roll bubble bursts and a nu nu-metal revival begins. The title track with its filthy riffage and generic rock lyrics does a good job of trying to condense Iggy Pop's entire back catalogue into three minutes, while "Breaking Down" is a pleasant enough strum in an otherwise rock orientated collection.

This is a band who wear their influences on their sleeves, Pete Townshend-esque guitars and the melodic storytelling style of Ray Davies resonate through every note on this record, particularly on the dangerously-titled "Cliché", where the protagonist strolls through the streets of Manhattan on a muggy summer evening looking for something to pass the time. The lines, "It's a cliché/ Everything I say" are just asking for trouble, especially after the predictable "Get Steady", but overall, the band have enough self belief in reserve to create a decent collection of tracks with just enough musical invention to sustain interest, but not enough to be truly memorable. The aforementioned "Cliché" is let down somewhat by its Brit-rock pastiche guitars, but is redeemed by the catchy Weezer-isms of "Love Conspiracy" and the 50s doo-wop stylings of "Lost My Mind".

Jonny Lives! are clearly a promising pop-rock band, who have all the ingredients, especially in today's musical zeitgeist, to be huge, however, in order to be remembered alongside all the other New York greats from the CBGB days, through to the new wave of The Strokes and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they are going to have to find a sound of their own and rely less on their 60s British invasion influences. But, if they can build on the stronger moments of this EP, the prospect of a full album will certainly be an interesting one.

Ben Davis

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