Single Review : Johnny Foreigner - (Don't) Show Us Your Fangs

I’ve got a Spotify playlist called ‘Hey Scenesters!’ that is full of songs that I’ve stumbled across that fit perfectly into an ultra trendy pigeon-hole of my own definition. The basic criteria for each song in this list are as follows: Jangly indie guitars playing angular riffs over jaunty disco drumbeats whilst a slightly drawling vocalist who sounds too cool for all this singing malarkey wails emotive lyrics accompanied by slightly out of time yapping backing vocals. Sounds familiar? Stick a bit of floor-tom drumming by the rest of the band in there and you’ve got every hipster box ticked.

Anyway, I put Johnny Foreigner in this pigeon-hole. Their twee, high energy indie rock is perfectly executed adolescent angst set to a whirlwind of guitars, shouting and a cascade of drums. Their on-trend chaos might be irksome to some - the male-female vocals a bit too six form and grating - but I’ve always found them fantastically charming. There’s a naive honesty to their songs such as ‘Eyes Wide Terrified’ and the two minute explosion that’s ‘Choose Yr Side and Shut Up’.

So when new single ‘(Don’t) Show Us Your Fangs’ starts like a Bombay Bicycle Club song (which of course is no bad thing if that’s what your fans expect) I start panicking that they’ve lost that charm and chaos I so loved. But lo! Eventually, in comes the jaunty drums and the yapping backing vocals. Within two minutes the guitars ramp up and I’m strapping myself in for another JoFo spectacular. But then it ends. The spectacular never comes. For a band that plays the indie rock equivalent of Peter Pan music, they seem to have done the unthinkable and grown up. I want my sixth form disco back dammit, not this fence-sitting anthem with Belle and Sebastian chimes in it. It’s a good enough song in it’s own right, but it’s not what the fans will be shouting for at their gigs. Alas, in the bands’ own words ‘Your life is a song, but not this one’.

(Don't Show Us Your Fangs is out this week through Alcopop! // Johnny Foreigner

Johnny Foreigner - (don't) show us ur fangs by alcopop


  1. They sound like some 80's band. I can't actually remember the name of that band I am referring to but they definitely sound like them. In short, I like the track and hopefully there is more to come.


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