Johnny Football Hero - Complacency EP Music Album Reviews

Johnny Football Hero - Complacency EP Music Album Reviews
The Philadelphia emo trio’s debut EP packs in a career’s worth of evolution, pulling from ’90s Midwest twinkle, Guitar Hero shredding, and the online angst of an emergent fifth wave.

Almost as soon as emo’s fifth wave announced its existence, critics countered that it wasn’t real—this was not an actual, flesh-and-blood scene, but an online confabulation, as if any movement that coalesced throughout 2020 could be otherwise. Naturally, the primary qualities of this wave are the inevitable results of being Very Online: time and memory compressed to the point of near suffocation, high and low influences ever more tightly commingled, allegiances formed between acts with seemingly little in common besides mutual followers. Bands that predate 2017 are now cast as elder statesmen. The exuberant Philadelphia trio Johnny Football Hero is a quintessential product of this weird new era—named after a Nada Surf lyric, they lay claim to Sunny Day Real Estate and crabcore icons Attack! Attack! in the same sentence, describe Dogleg’s barely year-old Melee as an aspirational model, and cram a career’s worth of evolution into the six songs of Complacency.

Singles “Cap’n Oblivious (Deficit)” and “Sister Hellen” are fluent in contemporary online argot: separating the healthy expression of anger from internalized angst, rhyming “therapy” and “anxiety.” The commiseration of the group vocals makes the ascending melodies sound sarcastic, and the shifty song construction opens up side missions within verse-chorus structure. You might find yourself reflexively pounding on your desk or steering wheel, but Johnny Football Hero counterbalance the immediate familiarity of their sound with surprising and judicious flexing of technical chops. James McGill’s tenor emerges from the vocal dogpiles with scenery-chewing flair, reframing Johnny Football Hero as a band drawn as much to the musical theater roots of their MySpace-era favorites as the lineage of post-hardcore. There are nimble, hammer-and-pull leads and flurries of tapping that owe an inevitable tithe to American Football (“Aurora” all but quotes the “Never Meant” riff), but McGill’s technique is even more indebted to Guitar Hero as a gateway to mainstream shred.

Complacency sounds like a band realizing their confidence in real time: navigating the hairpin melodic turn before the chorus of “41,” figuring out who gets to pick up the extra percussion that turns “Cap’n Oblivious (Deficit)” into proof of the permeability between sasscore and dance-punk. It manifests even in the relative restraint of “Complacency, Pt. 1,” the sort of strangulated slow build that typically pops up around track five on a 1990s Midwest emo classic. At first, “Pt. 1” serves notice to Johnny Football Hero’s range, though not their ability to unify emo’s various waves, especially as it leads right back into “Sister Hellen” shouting down group therapy and underemployment. But soon after, “Complacency, Pt. 2” offers a more perfect union, rhyming “tomato, tomahto” with “La Villa Strangiato”—note that this isn’t one of Rush’s popular songs, but a 12-part suite subtitled “An Exercise in Self-Indulgence.”

Johnny Football Hero are happy to call themselves out on their dorkier impulses, happier to embrace them. This is their truest show of allegiance to the fifth wave—or, on a smaller scale, to their peers responsible for this July’s “DIY Super Bowl.” The Philadelphia emo scene’s first major post-lockdown gig inspired much shaky, heartwarming iPhone footage of virtual Emo Nite favorites like Guitar Fight From Fooly Cooly and Ogbert the Nerd—bands whose very names read like a playful rebuke to unrequited bids for respectability. In that way, Johnny Football Hero is above all true to themselves: a band named after a hit single about the futility of trying to be popular.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Johnny Football Hero - Complacency EP Music Album Reviews Johnny Football Hero - Complacency EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on August 20, 2021 Rating: 5


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