Sound — 9
Johnny Foreigner's MySpace page describes their music as "noise pop", and that's probably more accurate than any other way I could describe it. Buzzing guitars and bass riffs are thrown back and forth amongst sung, or often yelped, vocals. Alexei (also the guitarist) and Kelly (also the bass player) share vocal duties (sometimes even with help from drummer Junior) in a style very similar to that used by tourmates Los Campesinos! (well worth checking out) and the magnificent Help She Can't Swim (r.I.p.). However, Johnny Foreigner's sound is very much unique, and their songs pack a punch that most modern bands just don't have. Also, the number of hooks and melody lines on this album is unbelievable, and you could find yourself humming any one of the songs for days after (see "Lea Room", "Our Bipolar Friends", "Salt, Peppa and Spinderella", among others).
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are generally brilliant, from the more serious moments ("Sweaty kids on pills aren't kids anymore" in "Our Bipolar Friends"), to the more light-hearted ("I may be drunk but at least I'm standing up!" in "Sometimes, In The Bullring"). One small criticism may be that most, maybe even all, of the band's songs, are based upon Birmingham in some way. But to be honest, when they're making music this good, who cares?!
Overall Impression — 8
Johnny Foreigner are one of the most talented bands to emerge recently, and I would definitely recommend checking them out. If nothing else, at least have a look at their MySpace and listen to any of the songs up, they're all brilliant. My favourite debut album of the year!