Who Killed Nancy Johnson? – Flat Earth Theory

Having recently checked out their latest single, Dark Horse, and been definitely taken by it, it was a really welcomed treat to be sent over by the band itself the release the song came from. Its creators are UK outfit Who Killed Nancy Johnson?, a​ ​​​Reading-based quartet creating an eventful fusion of punk and rock with post punk imagination. It is a tenacious sound fuelling a new EP in the shape of Flat Earth Theory, four tracks of raw and devilish rock ‘n’ roll which just got under our skin.

Formed in 2015, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? has grown into one increasingly praised and devoured live presence across the south of England. Their debut EP, Cops and Robbers, released early last year only added to their rising reputation, one sure to be energised again by Flat Earth Theory. Musically the band embraces inspirations from the likes of The Stooges, The Ruts, Wire, Magazine, Black Flag, Buzzcocks, The Rezillos, Fugazi, Ash, Killing Joke, Lit, Rival Schools, The Drills, and 3 Colours Red; an array of flavours which if not openly echoed in the band’s individual enterprise certainly adds to its substance.

Flat Earth Theory is an eventful encounter, an affair coincidently echoed in its making with former bassist Paul Anthony leaving the band just before the EP’s mixing stage and preventing the basslines already laid down being used. A mystery bassist saved the day though, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? leaving the studio with four slices of ear grabbing rock ‘n’ roll.

The EP opens with Strip, a song which opens the band’s live show and to rousing success one imagines such its potent impact on Flat Earth Theory. From a dulled clang of guitar, spirit sparking beats launch their bait, Mark Wren whipping up song and appetite alike as Pete Moulton’s guitar continues to linger casting raw strokes. Quickly though the song surges through ears, its rapacious energy and disruptive intent manna to the imagination and capped by the distinctive tones of vocalist Stefan Ball. Old school punk meets post punk devilry, kind of like The Adicts in league with a Fugazi fuelled Gang Of Four, the track is irresistible and for us a must single. It is easy to see why their shows get off to a flyer with the song, its two minutes instinctive punk ‘n’ roll incitement.

The following Alien has a broader rock landscape, alternative and punk merging for a tenacious stroll which teases and lures the listener to one irresistible call of a chorus demanding eager participation. As in the first song, the band casts wicked hooks and anthemic persuasions which manipulate by the second, a great throbbing bassline accentuating their dexterity as the track matches its predecessor in hitting the spot dead centre.

Mouth and Trousers is next up, a more controlled song which almost prowls ears initially even as a rush of riffs crowd them. It calms down further as vocals join the shuffle, rhythms keeping their restraint in place too. There is a whiff of pub rock to the song, a Dr Feelgood breath to its punk ‘n’ roll which brings another potent shade to the EP’s sound and though the track did not ignite the passions as richly as its companions, it had the body bouncing and vocal chords indulging especially through another potent chorus.

The EP is completed by that latest single, Dark Horse. The song is a muscular affair of alternative rock which straight away springs a lure of firm beats and juicy hooks, building on their prowess with appetising grooves and a brooding bassline aligned to almost predacious beats. Recalling bands such as The Motors and Mind Museum, the track dances in the imagination whilst arousing the spirit.

With new recruit Julien Bruinaud completing their line-up on bass, Who Killed Nancy Johnson? are ready to build on their previous success with a real nudge on national attention, the thoroughly enjoyable Flat Earth Theory irrepressibly leading the persuasion so watch this space.

Flat Earth Theory is out now @ https://wknancyj.bandcamp.com/releases

 

https://www.wknancyj.com/     https://www.facebook.com/WhoKilledNancyJohnson/     https://twitter.com/WKNancyJ

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Best Years – Drop Out

BY1_RingMaster Review

There is no denying that UK pop punks Best Years wear their inspirations openly in their sound but also that they write a cracking good pop song as evidenced by new EP Drop Out. Romping with three songs arguably low on dramatic originality but high on accomplished and energetically tenacious enterprise, the Manchester quintet’s second offering is one feel good romp.

Barely a year into their emergence, Best Years quickly nudged eager attention with debut EP Footwork, and now its successor is ready to stir up even greater awareness and excitement. Musically, as suggested, Best Years are unafraid to draw on the best essences of influences such as Blink-182, Brand New, The Story So Far, and Lit amongst a few. This ensures an easy familiarity meets invention in their sound, and right now it works in their favour in a release which uncages, in the words of vocalist Joel Plews, “three songs that’ll show what we’re made of.

BY Artwork_RingMaster Review     Drop Out opens up with Built To Last, a song to be admitted which had these ears hooked just by its opening melody, its warm smile carrying suggestions of riper things to come, which indeed they do as the song reveals a feisty stroll with spiky beats and a web of hooks and fiery riffs. There is an instant and eager energy to the song which is matched by the strong vocals of Plews, backed very well across the band. The guitars of Ed Lawson and James Hunt continue to dance on the imagination from start to finish, continually hinting, as the song itself does, that they are about to explode into a more aggressive state but instead just remain flirting and teasing with lively enterprise.

It is a highly pleasing start to the EP but soon outshine by Overrated, a track which rhythmically is gentle but firmly imposing and melodically tangy. The bass of Josh Holland provides a slightly understated but captivating shadow to more vibrant resourcefulness from the guitars whilst the beats of drummer Josh Berzins skilfully frames all in the increasing contagion. Again it is fair to say vocals and guitars steal the limelight but are only enhanced and allowed the freedom by the darker hues of the rhythmic union. The track is the lead song from Drop Out and easy to see why with its infectious character and enterprise, though for personal tastes it’s successor just steals the show.

Back Then from an eventful and inviting start quickly blossoms into a roar of a song. All three tracks are anthems easy to get fully involved with but the third song is manna to rock ‘n’ roll instincts. Rhythmically it is a riveting agitation whilst hooks and harmonies just grip and explode in a warm shower of sound and energy. The chorus, well that is inescapable and completes one inventive bellow of fun and persuasion.

Without being truly distinct from the best of the crowd, Best Years show themselves to be a richly promising and thoroughly enjoyable proposition through Drop Out. It also suggests that certain uniqueness is brewing within so watch this space for possible bigger bolder things with matching success ahead.

The Drop Out EP is released on August 28th 2015 via Dream Atlantic Records.

Pete RingMaster 28/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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