“A quiet yet persistent knock from under the floorboards.”
Johnny Reb are a four-piece band from Glasgow. After releasing two demos earlier last year, the Rebs were whisked away by Morrissey‘s guitarist Boz Boorer to his studios deep in the Portuguese mountains, where they recorded ten songs with Boorer at the helm. Already featured on BBC Radio One and 6Music, their debut album, The Portugal Years, will be released online on Monday 18th April.
The album opens with ‘Nine On The Line‘, slowly introducing the band’s recognisable yet unique sound with catchy guitar rhythms and lively vocals. This follows with ‘Emile (Part One)‘, a bow to Benny Paret and Emile Griffith with Dave Ruffy from punk legends The Ruts on tambourine. This shows off the albums festival feel with its fast paced rhythm and chanting chorus, a personal favourite on the album.
‘Brown Paper Bag‘ has Boorer on harmonica; a style close to The Libertines with similar lyrics yet more of an early 70s sound. ‘Grace Instinct‘, written by drummer Felix, then shows the influence of Boorer with a Morrissey feel to the song, really showing off the vocal ability of their frontman.
‘The Permanence Of You‘ again expresses the festival feel to the album with a chorus to sing along to. ‘Where Were Spring‘, which is from their Beady Eye demo, then follows with a faster and catchy guitar riff. This cheerful upbeat sound is persistent throughout the album which makes it an album easy to listen to over and over again.
‘Groß Britannia‘ is a firmly tongue in cheek protest number with a slower pace with a more acoustic feel. ‘The Lighting Of The Lamps‘, a cover of Nutbush City Limits, then follows with a similar style, slowly leading into ‘A Year To The Shadows‘ with high-spirited vocals and beat that you’ll tap your feet to; it really does make you look forward to the festivals ahead this summer (it’s just a shame they won’t be there!).
‘Crumbs‘ ends the album brilliantly with Boorer on saxophone and, again, with a very modernised Pete Doherty style. There’s nothing else to say but to have a listen here, it’s definitely worth it.