Jonny Shitbag And The Smokes – You Could Not Have Given The Slightest Of Fucks [Album Review]

Jonny Shitbag and The Smokes - You Could Not Have Given The Slightest Of FucksAnyone who pays the vaguest of attention to this site will know that we have very recently reviewed a single from these fellows, and if you actually read that then you may remember that I was intrigued as to how the full album ended up sounding. If all of this is news to you, check out Distract Me and come back to us (partly because it isn’t on the album and also because I’m probably going to refer to that review way too much because I haven’t slept and my mental capacity is focussed on keeping me awake right now).

Because I know none of you probably will, I’ll recap anyway (this is already going well). The indie/pop sound is not to my taste, but at the same time I find Jonny Shitbag And The Smokes oddly compelling. There is a punk attitude about the band that keeps you from taking the music too seriously, and given the chance to sink in, it’s all enjoyable despite appearing so obnoxious on the surface.

Their titles, lyrics, approach and music videos all show that this isn’t a band to be taken too seriously, that said, the content is still very personal and meaningful, getting pretty dark by the time The Forest rolls around. The unique blend that is delivered is enough on its own for me to tell you to check this album out. Although I hoped for more guitar, grit and noisy weird shit, I (think I) got something different that still impressed me to the same degree.

Opener, Neighbourhoods, is a little more of what I felt from the single, but Jesus and George is absolutely catchy as fuck and is the song that will be stuck in your head to bring you back for repeated listens. Then Bedtime offers the grittier side of their sound – a song I’d have expected to have been on Nathan Barley (remember that show?).

I’m not just going to skimp out and do a track by track, but it’s safe to say, this album throws a lot at you. There’s only maybe one or two choruses in the entire album, where no idea is dragged out or forced into a repetition. Some songs, like Kevin, as a result seem quite abrupt without doing a lot, where Big and Small throws more fuzz rock at you and almost sounds like a more “normal” song. This is almost like the Scottish response to Future Of The Left, pelted out in a commercial friendly style but slathered with middle fingers to make sure you didn’t miss the fact that there are zero fucks given at any point.

For someone to be able to happily listen to an entire album numerous times despite the genres being almost entirely against their taste says a lot. I don’t know if there will ever be any further releases from this band, but nonetheless this album has more personality than most bands tend to manage these days. Face it, a band called Jonny Shitbag And The Smokes and an album called You Could Not Have Given The Slightest Of Fucks are both qualities that would have got you at the very least skipping through the songs on BandCamp, but now I’m telling you to give it a chance to infect your brain until you realise how much you like it.

Rating: 7.9/10

Jake Hancke – 04/02/2018

You Could Not Have Given The Slightest Of Fucks is available digitally and on cassette via Hidden Bay Records.

You can follow Jonny Shitbag And The Smokes on Twitter.

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