Infectiously nostalgic, energetically unbridled, and irrepressibly excitable the self titled album from UK punks Johnny Throttle is the perfect album. Yes if you analysed it there are edges and elements that could be ‘improved’ but the point of music is to exhilarate, inspire, and give a good time and Johnny Throttle do this in abundance. There are plenty of good punk bands out there right now but there is nothing finer than real 70s punk and with this influencing the heart and attitude oozing vein of Johnny Throttle, there is no finer a bunch of punk reprobates than Johnny Quid and his cohorts.
Released on Dirty Water Records the album is a flurry of immediate and eager stabs of punk that light up the senses and revitalise old hearts and ambitions. Formed by ex-Parkinsons front-man Afonso Pinto (Johnny Quid), and aided by guitarist Hermano J, bassist Rory Seminal, and drummer Ricky C, their pedigree as ex-members of the likes of Menace, The Shakin Nasties, the Jackoffs, the Chinese Lungs, the Stains and Urban Shocks undeniable, Johnny Throttle go straight for the throat with blistering ill tempered sarcastic diamonds of sound and attitude. The band and each track offers up twin fingered salutes to whoever is in their aim and intent, it is garage punk without complications but bursting with vibrant riffs and catchy hook laden venom.
From the opening Heartbreakers/Ramones like Lost Sputnik the album lights up the senses and heart. Song after song high energy and brief concussive blasts rolls through the ear with contempt and belligerence. The first track though spiky and forceful is probably the least rampant on offer but shows pop punks of today more than a thing or two on how to do it. Throughout the album Johnny Throttle or songs remind of or hint at other bands but the overriding similarity they have is to The Cortinas, a sadly overlooked band from the 70s. The vocals of Quid have a definite Jeremy Valentine sound and both bands have a defined handle on creating irresistible hooks and melodies within their barbed tunes.
This review could go on for pages there is so much that could be said about and praised upon Johnny Throttle. It has been a long time since an album has thrilled as thoroughly from first track to last and there are fourteen classics here. If you want a taster before falling into the tempestuous arms of the album than first head to songs like the incessant longing of Ann or The Vibrators like Love Me Till I Come a spattered lust fuelled two minutes and a touch. There is also the cheerful sing-a-long casting aside of I Wanna Be Your Ex or the very early Blondie/Buzzcocks/Cute Lepers eager simple melodies of Heart Of Stone available and as sure to entice. Let us be honest here, every track will grab and pull you into their siren like well of essential punk and garage rock.
Johnny Throttle as one anticipates does not shy away from the controversial either saving that for the best song on the album in the brilliant Spazztastic. It defies anyone not to join in with its addictive chorus and heart tingling riffs. With a bass from Seminal to lose fluids over the song is immense and its brevity the only complaint, but leave them wanting more right?
Johnny Throttle is an album that revives the heart of true punk music and punks, its heart a reminder of days when things had an intensity and breath that has since dissipated, well until this band arrived came along. They have not only reminded of but ignited the heyday of punk and taken it forward with an album so impressive and enjoyable that one does not need to dig out those old vinyls, the new breed is here and its name is Johnny Throttle.