The names that bands are coming up with are getting weirder, wackier and further off the wall, trying to stand out from the overcrowded crowd where the cream unfortunately doesn’t always rise to the top. Johnny Action Figure finally breaks away from that mold. Just kidding. But they do break away from the mold somewhat, making heavy-hitting pop songs that have a very unique flavor that blends some jazz, a little surfer rock and yes, even a hint of barbershop Beach Boysian flavor.
Quite honestly, I don’t usually love most pop rock (especially uppity stuff like this), but their new album, Good Eye, really is different. From the very first moments of opening track “Phantom Blues,” Johnny exudes fun, in a most smile-inducing way. Pay no mind that it’s head bobbing, teeny-bopper, high school dance music (not all the way through, but you’ll see what I mean) because these guys aren’t just churning out static pop songs for nothing more than fame, glory and paper; they really can play their instruments (although I’m sure the fame, glory and paper would be nice too).
When it comes down to it, Good Eye is just an enjoyable listen all the way through. It’s not dark, depressing, pretentious or over-the-top ridiculous. The mix is subtle and mellow, despite the upbeat nature of the music. Yeah, maybe it’s very safe music, but maybe that’s what we all need once in a while. Otherwise listening to music can become a task, losing some of the emotional bridge, which is in my mind, the most important (and therapeutic) element of listening to music.