Friday, January 15, 2010

The Johnsons - s/t (1986, Plush)

Just to avoid any confusion, this is not the same Johnsons from Pennsylvania who released the totally unrelated but highly recommendable Break Tomorrow's Day LP. With that out of the way, I have next to no background info to offer in reference to the self-titled Johnsons album I'm sharing, other than their assumed locale of Venice, CA given the quartet's mailing address on the back sleeve. The eight songs here loosely fall under the classification of sarcastic demi-punk, a la The Brains and the A's, should any comparisons be made at all. An adept cover of the Dead Boys "(I Don't Wanna Be No) Catholic Boy" is something of a highlight here, as well as the punchy original "Apparently Lied." I have no idea if any other releases succeeded The Johnsons, but it would have been interesting to hear how these guys progressed.

01. She's a Butcher
02. Modern Maturity
03. Apparently Lied
04. Kill That Girl
05. (I Don't Wanna Be No) Catholic Boy
06. Bad Tonight
07. National Noise
08. Gore


stevejhuber said...

The Johnsons played primarily in San Diego, CA and opened shows for The Beat Farmers, The Lords of The New Church, The Ramones, Screaming Sirens, The Lyres and the late Edith Massey of John Water's film fame. The band was led by Tom Hildebrandt (guitar, vocals), his cousin Matt Harpster (guitar, keyboard, vocals), Scranton native Armand Spiotto (bass, vocals). Drums were generally played by Stevie Ray Plush (Steve Huber), but fill-in players included the photographer Paul Redmond (drums), surfer Dave Driver (bass), activist Lisa Fredsti (bass) and Rex Havoc (drums). Their collective influences were The Undertones, The Kinks, X and New York Dolls.

Spiotto's move to Los Angeles effectively ended the band's steady progress and Huber soon followed Spiotto to form LA cult band "Spiderbaby". Hildebrandt and Harpster soldiered on, reforming the band as "The Johnsons of The Jungle Moon". Their demo material shows a shift in focus to a more fuzzed-out sound reminiscent of Australians "The Scientists" and more solid riff-oriented material. Hildebrant folded the band in approximately 1989.

Steve Huber 02.23.11

manray.detroit said...

I used to do sound for these guys in San Diego. It was blast. Great to work with. They drove around in a big black Cadillac or Eldorado, or something. I just pulled their LP out of a hidden box of LP's I saved. The mix stinks. I remember their gigs being much more dynamic.

Anyway - I am glad i ran into these guys. Good memories.

Grapher said...

Pleas re-up this album.

spavid said...

The link has been updated. Thanks for alerting us.

Grapher said...

Thank you so much!