I think all fans of rock and roll wish that they had grown up in the 50s and 60s. Back when live shows were the only way for bands to make money and the only way for you to judge how great their sound is because youtube wasn’t around for you to try to recollect it. Jonny Quits is one in a million bands who are trying to bring that vibe back, but you know what they say, “it only takes that one in a million” and this band could be them.
The first thing that I thought when I heard this was: “this is refreshingly real”. They haven’t focused on recording their four short tracks in a precise, articulate way; they’ve focused on the band’s charismatic and energetic vibe. When you consider the fact that they’ve been around for a couple of years, formed in London and moved to Leeds and two of the leading members were twins, it’s not surprising that their self-titled EP shows how well the band connect.
Their first track ‘Drive Around Him’ introduces Jonny Quits as a 21st century band who wish they were in the 50s. You can tell from the get go that they keep it simple and just go along with what feels best to play, like speeding up just before the vocals come in and throwing in a guitar solo half way through. ‘Drive Around Him’ has still got a modern vibe though, if the guitars sounded cleaner, it could be mistaken for a Frankie and the Heartstrings track.
‘I don’t know’ is a great track. It’s very steady rock and roll until halfway through when the song literally sounds like it’s being blown away by what can only be described as the sound of the wind. They cranked up the distortion, slowed down the tempo and for a little moment it sounds like they’re floating in a psychedelic abyss. It’s a little bit Bowie actually.
Reverting back to their classic rock and roll selves, ‘Alice’ certainly could have been written by The Beatles. Well, on their earlier albums like ‘Please Please Me’ or ‘With The Beatles’. Jonny Quits’ distinctive “laid-back” vocal harmonies are in their best form in this track. ‘Alice’ is also the perfect example of how this EP is refreshingly real, with little slips and imperfections being shrugged off as all part of the fun.
Saving the most technologically experimental track until last, ‘Oh You’ is only 1.34 minutes long and, in all honesty, feels a little unfinished. Their guitars sound cleaner, their vocals sound fuller and, all in all, they sound as if they’re having a jam and I’m listening in from afar. That not-quite-there-yet vibe really works for them though.
Jonny Quits are not revolutionary but they captivate their early rock and roll influences better than a lot of bands. In an era where meticulous composition is the way forward in popular culture, it’s great to sit back and listen to a band who just get on with it.