The EP opens with a new Johnny Foreigner track, “Tru Punx” and it returns to the dirtier aspect of their sound, combining it successfully with their talent for melody. Guitars and shouty vocals declare, “I’ve been thinking about killing myself”, not the most likely hook to get crowds shouting but then Johnny Foreigner never have done things conventionally.
The second track, ‘Not Even Giles Would Say We’ll Be Ok’ starts off with a rather nice melodic vocal harmony, and for a second you might be expecting some kind of soppy Americanised love song, which is fair enough for about ten seconds (the lyrics “I’ll be carving out two names on the oak tree, one’s yours, one’s mine” helps with this misconception)…until the drums and guitar kick in and the distinctive funky/rock sound of Stagecoach becomes a little less ambiguous. The EP is a fair split between the two bands and after a new song each, they go about covering each other.
Johnny Foreigner go first with ‘Good Luck With Yr 45’. They always have been a very flexible sounding band, dodging between the typical guitar/vocals/drum sound (having said that though, Johnny Foreigner manage to make even that sound very un-typical and attention grabbing) and the gentler side of their capabilities – such as on this track, and plaintive love songs are something they do very well. Using their voices in a way that is unusual even for them, they layer up the sound into a heart breaking electro barbershop, the “baa umm baa umm” backing fades in and out, swelling with the emotive vocals.
Stagecoach cover ‘Salt, Pepper & Spinderella” one of Johnny Foreigner’s darker, more electronic based tracks and they contrast their two different vocal styles effectively. The sparser arrangement pushes the lyrics to the front, Johnny Foreigner’s words are often hidden behind guitars, accents or harmony but like this they can be heard in full honesty and elegance, the line ‘we like to watch the fights break out and end in grief from these cheap plastic seats’ seems more of a confession, rather than a proud assertion, as it did in the original.
Both bands are currently in the process of touring the UK, and if this EP is anything to go by those gigs are going to be a real event.