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Johnny Panic - Ritual Riots

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 12 / 11 / 2011

Johnny Panic - Ritual Riots
Label: R.E.P.E.A.T. Records
Format: CD


Consistent and inventive pop punk on self-produced and released third album from London band, Johnny Panic

I was about to say this album and this band are shite, but then I read that singer/guitarist Rob Solly is well versed in about twenty different martial arts and I saw fit to change my mind. Actually no, lucky for them and me, they are certainly not in fact “shite”. I’ll set Rob on anyone that says they are. In bringing out their third album ‘Ritual Rights’, the Londoners have left it a fair few years since their last offering. This is mainly down to them, however, having had to pay for it themselves and in this day and age, that is a)commendable b)commendable to mention and c)well, it is good, alright. Far too many bands up go on making pointless EPs for thousands of quid in the vein hope that some record label will hear it and go, “Oh here’s several grand, go ahead make us an album”. Aye, it’s not the 90’s anymore. You have got to work for this now kids. And I am one person who is just elated that there are bands still out there like Johnny Panic who work hard to get their own albums done, rather than waiting for someone else to do it for them. Oh and it’s great. I wouldn’t want anyone missing that point. This may not be such a commendable thing if it was an hour's worth of self-indulgent rubbish. ‘Ritual Riots’ is far from it! They come straight out of the gate with ‘The New 45’, which is melodic and raucous pop-punk fun but at the same time not in the slightest bit throw-away. ‘Junk Man’ follows up perfectly and sounds to me like a punked up version of the Levellers at their most rocking, but only without the fiddles and all that hippy nonsense. Johnny Panic show off their full abilities with some corking harmonizing along with chugging bass and guitars. ‘Our Town’, ‘This City’ and ‘Too far Gone’ certainly show us just how great melodic punk rock can be, and also the benefits of having more than one competent singer in a band. There’s even a little hint of fellow Southern pop-punkers ’ in places, only less high pitched. For those out there like me who would prefer a more Northern reference, then there’s a little hint of 3 Colours Red or the Wildhearts at play here as well. I was somewhat surprised by the choice of single ‘World Around You’, which seems a little more subdued and gentle than a lot of the album, but having said that it is probably the song with the most depth on the album. If this was the first tune you were to hear I think you would be pleasantly surprised to hear how instant some of the other tracks are. On the flipside, it is great seeing a band stretch themselves and do such a great job. ‘Ritual Riots’ is a thoroughly enjoyable album that sees a hard working band sit amongst the best melodic rock produced in the UK over the past 15 years. This is a really strong album from start to finish, which seems like a bit of rare thing these days. Oh and there’s even a little hidden track…but I didn’t tell you that.

Track Listing:-
1 The New 45
2 The Junk Man
3 It Ends Here
4 Our Town
5 Stop Kicking
6 This City
7 Everything Will Change
8 Alright / All Right
9 Calling Me
10 The Change Won't Come
11 Too Far Gone
12 World Around You
13 To The End
14 Sing Back

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