If the name Johnny 4 came up in a word-association game, my bet is that "barbershop quartet" would not be far from most people's lips. But here's the catch: Johnny 4 have, in fact, five members, and, although vocally driven, defy my name stereotyping with an eclectic brand of soft inventive rock.
Debut single Born Without combines the lo-fi alt-pop of Pavement with the secure song writing of Jimmy Eat World, to create a sound that has you guessing what's going to happen next. This four-minute offering switches rhythm, key and texture with aplomb, creating a depth that makes the first few listens fascinating
However, there is little left over to stick in the mind after discovering all of the track's secrets. Some wonderfully ambient guitar work is pushed mercilessly to the back of the mix, which leaves a very metallic drum sound that has the capability of setting one's teeth on edge, and the soft vocal combination of Luke Albery, Simon Ball and Lee Clarke, which, although beautiful in places, is largely over-harmonised which lessens the impact that this technique can bring. This modest offering displays one thing above all - that Johnny 4 have the creativity to run and run, with the potential to supplant Radiohead in the future as inventive rock kings.