May 22, 2018

New Blood: Johnwayneisdead

by Robert Dean

If you’re craving lo-fi punk that’s screaming with early 90’s garage overtones with splashes of rockabilly grooves, Johnwayneisdead’s new record, This Is A Record will satisfy thirst like a 36 oz. PBR. 

Based out of Houston, Johnwayneisdead is a punk duo that’s churning out rebellious, chaotic tunes that aren’t lacking in the fun department. While a lot of the time it’s easy to wax poetic on the meaning and lyrical content or pause, wondering what’s it all mean, Johnwayneisdead’s This Is A Record gives the finger to all of that. True punk rock isn’t rocket science; it’s two guys hammering out songs for beer money and a bag of good kush – that’s it, plain and simple. 

Lately, it feels like music has to be soaked with triple meanings and with backstories, stuffed details that need a field guide to understand the context, This Is A Record doesn’t - it’s fast, catchy and to the point. There’s no wack interludes or songs that come off as confusing or like they needed to be left off the record, but instead, everything cruises with the same frantic pace. 

“Joey Lawrence”, “Buddy Holly”, and “Vampire Breath”, all of these songs ooze with a sentiment of the old school punk we used to pull out of distro boxes at shows or local record shops. Despite the music slapping, I feel bad for Johnwayeisdead because of the era they exist within. Yeah, they can reach the world with a click thanks to the Interwebz, but had these guys been in the game twenty-five years back, we’d be talking about them with the same reverence as bands like The Queers, The Bollweevils, The Descendants, 88 Fingers Louie, and even Naked Raygun. The DNA is there and if “Joey Lawrence” isn’t a bonafide, beer-spilling, sing-along, meet me out by the dumpsters. 

The riffs, the slapstick, fuck you attitude is honest, and it’s not a dollar store copy. These dudes live and die by the show and the world that comes with being a punk rocker in the south, and at a time when kids today think computers are instruments. 

Grab a vinyl of This Is A Record and support these dudes, because if you’re into punk that brings back the good ole days, Johnwayneisdead delivers in spades.

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