Monday, February 10, 2014

Johnny Wore Black-Walking Underwater

Dead Cherry

Slated for release next month, with two of the albums tracks, "Up In Flames" and the Help For Heroes' support single "All The Rage", having already made the rounds to thunderous approval, "Walking Underwater" is the full-length debut release from (legend in the making) Johnny Wore Black. Fittingly produced by David Bottrill (Dream Theater, Tool, The Smashing Pumpkins, Muse, Godsmack, Between the Buried and Me, Stone Sour, Coheed and Cambria, Silverchair, etc.), as his distinct fingerprints can be seen throughout this endeavor, and featuring the mad skills of Megadeth main-man David Ellefson (credited on "Walking Underwater" as both a songwriter and musician!) this ten-track album somberly walks the thin line between late eighties/early nineties alternative rock and modern heavy rock/dark metal. Mostly melancholy in it's delivery, with the vast majority of these tracks conveying a personal, heartfelt sadness that almost reads like the last words from a condemned man's journal, "Walking Underwater" feels like the soundtrack to an unflinching drama, perhaps even one about man's inhumanity to one another. Up front it most be noted that despite the above-mentioned "dark metal" tag (and really the appearance of one of heavy metal's finest bass players on what is, in essence, a one-man project) this collection of brooding rock tracks plays more towards the comfort of the alternative rock/underground rock scene and should not be mistaken for anything resembling a traditional heavy metal release. Still, the music heavy it it's own right and it is worth noting that it is a tremendous first-effort and it's the personal touch of tracks like "Different Shades", "One And The Same" and "What I Am" that gives an album such as "Walking Underwater" it's strength. And yes, even at it's darkest hour (see "The Battle"), this album is remarkably strong. Not just on moments like "Different Shades", "One And The Same" and "What I Am" (numbers that ache with such personal pain that you can't help but wonder if truly were meant to be shared with the whole world) but also on the aforementioned singles, especially the well-written and powerful heavy rocker "All The Rage", and (personal faves) "One Love Song" and "So Dusted". Other then maybe the over-use of samples there's very little about Johnny Wore Black not to like. Whether it's the album's early singles (the gripping "Up In Flames" and the hard-hitting "All The Rage" should be more then enough to push this album up the modern rock charts) or, if further proof is needed, "Cold Water" and album closer "Outside Looking In" this first release from Johnny Wore Black is packed with cut after cut of powerful and moving material and, tack on the fact that it presents itself in such fine fashion, it should win over the masses for this cleverly-named act. For Johnny Wore Black all the signs point towards success with "Walking Underwater" (hopefully) just the first of many fine moves by this open and honest dark rock band.

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