Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Johnny Mac & The High Explosives - Cry Mercy (Album Review)


by Johnny Mac & The High Explosives

John McGlone is the charismatic Singer - song writer, lead vocalist in legendary Merseyside band Western Promise. You might have seen my album review of their brilliant album "Here Comes a Revolution" on these pages around Christmas (if not have a gander here, ) it was one of my favourite albums of the year and I told of  how I loved how they stick to their roots and wear their hearts on their sleeves by continuing to deliver the high quality Punk Ska  / Reggae  that they've been listening to and belting out since the 1980's. 
I also said that big Johnny Mac was one of the most underrated singer songwriters the region has ever produced and I stand by that.

Now in 2016. Johnny has released a solo album that has taken me on a whole new roller coaster ride.
Gone are the heavy reggae baselines and the pacey punk rock vibes in comes a wonderful world of beats, samples and dance grooves. Whilst it was a shock to the system on first hearing, it becomes obvious quite quickly that above it all the punk ethos remains. In that respect there's an obvious comparison to Big Audio Dynamite  (Punk meets Dance grooves and samples). But to be honest, Cry Mercy has a sound all of its own. The anger, politics and social comment that we associate with Western Promise are all present and correct and if anything, maybe even a little angrier. 
The Likes of  Burn down Babylon,  Evil Black Heart and I Got Nothing but my Soul contain some of Johnnie's most poignant lyrics and the rest of the album is chock a block with great songs, massive tunes and an array of beats and rhythms to raise yer spirits and move yer auld fat arses.
The Production is immense and I was left pondering how this would perform chart wise if the likes of Strummer or Jones had released it.

The best track by far for me is, Mother of a Million Dead, a political anti war rant that builds into a song of pure epic proportions! Its worth the album price alone.

Go buy this brilliant album, yer mingebags!  Support our local musicians. There's not many around as honest and hard working as Big John and defo not many locals who have produced an album of this quality in recent years!

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