Indie acts are steadily taking over the airwaves. With radio stations like KDLD (Los Angeles and Orange County) providing a niche for independent bands to show off their stuff, the increased popularity of such artists is on the rise.
But, this is no accident, much less a fad. The truth of the matter is that independent bands like Jonny Lives! have true talent and spunk to rise victorious in both the indie and mainstream scene.
Hailing from the same scene that produced such famed New York acts as Mooney Suzuki, Fountains of Wayne, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and The Strokes, Jonny Lives! have not only created a buzz on the Lower East Side, they have also managed to stir things up over in the UK playing with such artists as Sonic Youth, Patti Smith and The Killers.
A quartet consisting of Jonny Dubowsky (vocals), Christian Langdon (guitar/vocals), Jonny Webber (drums) and Tommy USA (bass), Jonny Lives! combines rhythm ‘n’ blues, ’60s and ’70s punk with a hint of Brit-pop. Their influences range from The Beatles, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Jeff Buckley, and naturally, NY punk legends, The Ramones.
These influences resonate loud and clear all throughout their latest recording titled, the “Get Steady E.P.”
Rock at its finest, this five-track E.P. offers both great musicianship, smart lyrics and an ensemble of top-notch guest appearances.
“Cliche,” featuring a who’s who of brilliant guitar cameos by one Sammy James Jr. (Mooney Suzuki), Jodi Porter (Fountains of Wayne) and Nick Valensi (The Strokes). A song describing a hot NY summer night and cheap one-night stands, things couldn’t possibly get any dirtier than this, or could they?
A three-minute track inspired by the return home from a hectic tour in the UK, the
title track “Get Steady” evolved from a single guitar riff into what Dubowsky calls a song that “reeks of sex and booze.”
Then there’s a song like “Lost My Mind,” which proves that all on this record is not just sex and booze ridden but in fact, it is lovely and harmonious as well.
Although this EP is just a morsel of what this band is capable of doing, there is no doubt that their full-length album is nothing short of musical genius as well.
Add one more band to the indie music repertoire. With Jonny Lives!, NY has become, once again, the torchbearer for all things cool.
**** out of four
The “Get Steady E.P” and the “Get Steady” full-length are available at independent retailers everywhere.