Sep 02, 2013 05:46pm
Johnny Hoffman and the Residents – Welcome to Everott holds up
May 20, 2013 - 11:42pm

Johnny Hoffman and the Residents – Welcome to Everott

Punk, Grunge


“Generation Z reaches back into early punk and grunge and assaults Everett’s ears.”

Johnny Hoffman and the Residents have been making noise in Everett since early 2012. The phrase “Psycho Rock and Roll” fits; punk-influenced riffs, chaotic guitar solos and shouted vocals. The whole package has a taste for blues, inspired by acts like The Black Keys. “Welcome to Everott” is their second album.

Singer Joe Krassin screams like a madman throughout the album. Some lyrics ring clear while others are indistinguishable shouts. Common themes include various forms of debauchery and punk lifestyle. Single “Leatherface” talks about cannibalism, Ed Gein and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This album is not for the faint of heart, but covers all the bases of sex, drugs and rock and roll.

This album sets itself apart from most punk albums by taking the easily worn out, fast and loud punk formula and combining it with elements of blues and grunge. The band even threw in a couple down tempo tracks to space things out. There’s a lot of song development here.

The track “Masta Piece” is split into two parts, breaking up the monotony of an hour long punk record. The album is very ambitious, hoping to give a face to the faceless Everett punk scene while trying to keep listeners interested throughout the 17 tracks.

There’s a lot to like on the first half of this album. The bass lines pull the songs together, creating melodies over the power chords, punk beats and caterwauls. Tracks like “Psycho Rock and Roll” and “4th Avenue" stick out with surrisingly interesting bass lines. The riffs have variety  and don’t always go where expected. The guitar solos are fuzzy, wah filled cacophony. They fit right in and melted my face just the way I like it to be melted.

The album’s momentum is stopped dead, however, by poorly placed acoustic track “Amber.” The band got the effect they wanted later in the track “Devil’s Advocate.” While a lot of the tracks are well developed, things get weaker and more repetitive near the end of the album. The first half of “Now” put me to sleep -- the cowbell and harmonica solo could have been put somewhere else. “Carry On” is also pretty weak and doesn’t fit in or progress anywhere.

That being said, the first seven tracks of this album are great, and a few of the tracks from the second half really stick out. “4th Avenue" and "Mississippi Woman" do everything right as far as rockabilly punk tracks go. It’s evident where the band spent their time.

On the whole, the album falls a little short of its goal, but there are a few moments of real brilliance here. If you grew up on punk and grunge like Iggy and the Stooges, Dinosaur Jr and the Sex Pistols, you’ll  be glad to hear this record.

Johnny Hoffman and the Residents – Welcome to Everott – 7.5/10


Correction: The album title has been corrected to Welcome to Everott, it was previously misspelled.


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