A few years ago, Daniel Johnson moved to Detroit and
met up with freelance musicians Charles Koltak and
Zach Roberts, with whom he formed Judah Johnson.
After initially practicing as a trio, they recorded a demo,
added Brian Pierson as second guitarist and Nate
Cavalieri as keyboardist, played their first live shows,
and have now released their first effort, this self-titled
The EP is well-crafted and lovely at moments, monotonous
and mind-numbingly boring at others. Judah Johnson utilize
a clever blending of good production and lo-fi fun, uniquely
distorted drums, and just a few spacey guitar and keyboard
effects to take listeners on a slow-paced, melancholic ride,
with each of the six tracks blending into each other in a
well thought out fashion.
Things start off with a considerable amount of promise. Both
of the opening two tracks, "The Silent Treatment"
and "Fortunecookie," are excellent, soft-spoken
pop numbers, showing influences ranging from Radiohead
to Jeff Buckley. As soon as your hopes soar high, however,
they are dashed to bits by "Tongue Kiss On Ecuador."
The droning and lethargic guitars and keyboards, backed by
a beat that could easily lull you to sleep, runs for well
over seven minutes, several of which are entirely unnecessary
and could easily be removed without causing the quality of
the song to suffer. It takes far too long to get moving, and
far too long to finish up, causing what comes in the middle
to come off as rather uneventful.
"Tele Viv" livens things up a little bit, snapping
you out of the slumber that was induced by the previous track,
but then comes "The Thinker," which has the potential
to be beautiful, if only it didnít suffer from the same negative
qualities as "Tongue Kiss On Ecuador," and didnít
drag on for seven minutes. The EP closes with "Feelings
For Skin," a tune that lasts just over two minutes, sounds
like it was recorded in a closet, and barely qualifies as
a song. It could have possibly worked as a quirky, attention-grabbing
opener, but as the closer, it leaves you with nothing but
a sour taste in your mouth.
ó Eddie Fournier
- The Silent Treatment
- Tongue Kiss On Ecuador
- Tele Viv
- The Thinker
- Feelings For Skin
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