FIRST LISTEN: Johnny Hunter reclaims pub rock for the millennials on ‘Cult Classic’
October 3rd 2018
- Johnny Hunter :: Cult Classic - Premiere
On new single ‘Cult Classic’, as they did with its predecessor ‘1995’, Johnny Hunter brings together the half-cut directness of 80s-era pub rock with the energy, brevity and pathos of punk and beats it into coherence with some tight pop songwriting chops.
Into that mix, JH also injects the ambivalence and contradiction of the millennial condition – lyrically, musically and aesthetically. In doing so, they dodge the pitfalls of nostalgia-bandism and instead co-opt these styles for their own generation.
And the millennial ambivalence is strong on ‘Cult Classic’. The title itself could be an insult or a compliment, and musically it shifts from an unnerving descending guitar progression, split up and restarted over and over by violent jackhammer gang vocals, into an almost comically upbeat chorus. But nothing is ever exactly as it seems with JH and any apparent optimism always has a whiff of the sinister about it, as dark cryptic lyrics knock the fist-pumping pubness of it all right off its axis.
‘Cult Classic’ and ‘1995’ will be on their debut 7″ dropping Oct 5th through Break Even Recordings, and look out for the band on tour in November.