We are decades removed from the explosive British punk scene. Hell, Johnny Rotten is into his sixties now and in just a few short months, Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols turns 40. But all of this isn’t going to stop the English sound from adhering staunchly to whatever they damn well feel.
And while they’re on the cusp of being defined in the punk genre, self-proclaiming “a general distaste and disillusionment with the current music scene” Sweet Jonny does exactly that, they draw a line in the sand and explode within the confines of their own doing. The result, exactly what I hoped it would be.
Spanish Fly, the latest EP from the land of where Quadrophenia was filmed is four quick, tight, and attention grabbing tracks primed with raunchy licks, heavy accents, and all the spit and tenacity you can muster.
Tom Backshall (guitar and vocals), Phil Coupland (Guitar), Tom Kent (Bass), and, presumably sweet, I don’t know, I don’t know him well enough, Jonny Pinder (Drums) have their hand on releasing 4-track EPs every two years. This latest installment nods to the groundwork of early garage-rock sounds while carrying an air of f**k all.
Far too often we see a sound like this emerge only to be tossed aside in the poser bin. But what breaks through the haze is the authentic sounds of Sweet Jonny. This is most likely evident in “Tools of the Trade.” There is a shroud of honesty and purpose in their sound that nods to the reason it is here in the first place. What’s more, Spanish Fly is unforgivingly raw. It drew me in on its grinding persona and has me coming back for the dimly lit, underground sound it manages to grasp so well.
I fully understand the consequence, if not paradox, of reflecting on a sound such as Sweet Jonny as I have, but I can’t shake the feeling that happens all too often. You know, the one where you just want to bang your head, move your feet, and get a little raw every so often. That is Spanish Fly. That is Sweet Jonny. Objective met, with a sneer and spit; but oh so good.
Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor of Nanobot Rock