by tom johnson
I know I’m not supposed to write this in first-person. I know that by addressing that very fact I’ve already broken numerous rules about journalism and blah blah blah. But, as you can see, I’m doing it anyway because sometimes these things just matter. In much the same way, Johnny Foreigner, by now, know that there is little use in being a band. There is value, of course; good intentions, memories made, lives changed, personalities grown and all that jazz, but not there’s not really any use in it. And yet they do it anyway; and here they are, in fact, with a fifth full-length album, approaching a whole ten years of being a band; ten years since that manic glow of Arcs Across The City first landed with such a beautifully hearty thud.
I think back to where I was then, when I first heard those songs and how they rattled these very same bones that move to type these words and I feel a small piece proud. Proud of and for the band, proud of Alcopop Records, and proud, even, of myself and this site. Because that’s what this band do to you. They make shitty moments glow, they make beaten-down situations feel not so beaten down by it all – and who needs a use when you’ve got that.
That’s why Johnny Foreigner still matter. To us; to so many others. And so here is a brand new song, in the form of the woozy, three-minute head-rush of ‘Undevastator’. The first on their brand new album, Mono No Aware, which is released this Friday but streaming, individually, across a number of different sites right now – and we’re supremely humbled that GoldFlakePaint is one of those.
Check out the stunning, original, artwork by Lewes, and the introduction from Lexi, below, and then, of course, dive head-first in to ‘Undevastator’ in all it’s fiery glory, safe in the knowledge that they’ve only gone on done it again.
Hello there friends.
Wow, what an honour. Firstly I wanna thank the gods, our label, and the team at Gold Flake Paint. Amazing people, every last one of them, been with us since day one. Pre-day one, even; shooting a video in some freezing art gallery for a song we wrote especially, cos sometimes some people are just worth it.
So, another collaborative first; presenting the opening (proper) song from our new record. (shuffles notes) Um, they tell me this has never been done before. That yr supposed to pick the one site, give them the whole record. That what we’re doing here is whimsical, goddamn impractical, and The Fans need convenient herding to the one big billboard. They say alla this like we don’t have a glorious history of doing -impractical-. And we can’t even say “The Fans” without either cringing or pretending we’re writing an Oscar acceptance speech. What we’ve somehow ended up is a cross between a post-border displaced family and a really inclusive, posi clique. This spreading interjection of exclusives seems like a natural (and more fun) way to deliver our new works and it’s beyond thunderdome that everyone participating gets that, and has offered us this chance.
The 8 sites we’ve conspired with to do this, they don’t just support our band. They rep for our friends bands, your friends bands, maybe your band. Our new album is almost here and we’re so fucking proud of it. But also, proud to still be part of this mad interwoven tapestry/collage/community of brave and inspiring humans devoting themselves creating, chronicling, and soundtracking our futures in a time when the rest of the country wishes it could be this united and positive.
– Alexei Berrow
‘Mono No Aware’ is released on July 8th, via Alcopop! (UK) and Lame-O in the States
Pre-order it, in a variety of wonderful forms, here