The Johnny Ill Band: Ask All The Doctors

The Johnny Ill Band, Ask All The DoctorsThe Johnny Ill Band: Ask All The Doctors
The Johnny Ill Band is a powerhouse of the Detroit punk scene, and with its unique mix of punk and 60s garage rock, Ask All the Doctors is an interesting listen, but ultimately this album suffers because it underperforms lyrically. The Johnny Ill Band’s sound is a mix of the Clash and the Animals, anchored by the extensive use of organ melodies to compliment the electric guitar. On some tracks the organ is used in the background and the guitar is featured, usually with heavier riffs and surf rock style guitar solos. On other tracks the organ is front and center, providing the dominant melody and even soloing.
The major problem with this album is that the songs are lyrically bland. Even in a genre that’s not known for producing Dylans or Springsteens, it feels like The Johnny Ill Band has taken its lyrics from a high school freshman’s essay on what I did with my summer vacation. “Used to Be Confused” starts with the lines “I didn’t used to have a computer/to write emails and things/I used to be real wild/in a way that you can’t understand.” Good lyricists find the perfect words to communicate the indescribable, where as Ask All The Doctors makes unintelligible what should be easily describable. Johnny Ill also utilizes an affected vocal delivery, which could best be described a chanting, that really grates on the audience after listening to the album repeatedly.
My over all impression of Ask All The Doctors is that the album doesn’t wear well. The Johnny Ill Band has an interesting instrumental sound, which is overwhelmed by the albums lyrical deficiencies and canned vocal delivery.
Rating: 5.5/10
MP3: The Johnny Ill Band “Good Posture”
Buy: Urinal Cake Records Store