Graveyard Johnnys

Welsh Rockabilly/Punkers Graveyard Johnnys have released a potent new LP entitled Dead Transmission. We at RR have had the pleasure of listening to it and hopefully doing it justice with this review. The LP opens with “The Poison”, all ‘marching’ sounds before the clicky bass and military-esque drumbeat kicks in. The clangy guitars soon follow before it speeds up and the clear, yet somewhat angry vocal overrides everything. The double bass becomes the prominent feature here on in, sitting just nicely behind that pacey vocal. The intricate middle 8 quickly diminishes before that potent vocal kicks back in. The song ending is great, if a little abrupt! A great start! “For Tonight” has an almost 60’s/Garagey intro before that double bass steals the show. The drums keep the pace once more, sitting behind a clear and confidently delivered vocal. One imagines this was written for a loved one after an exhaustive tour maybe?

Title track “Dead Transmission” has a clicky intro with much harsher vocals and more clangy guitars. Then the anthemic chorus really takes hold-I can imagine this getting good crowd participation in the live arena with the big “Woah,Woah’s” that end this anthemic number. “Because of You” has a Rockabilly intro and those intense vocals over that frenetic beat once more. At a paltry 95 seconds it’s the shortest track on here, yet no less important than those around it. It’s catchy, it’s quirky and it makes you smile. What more can I say?!

“One Day or Forever” – a story of Moving On. Perhaps inspired by smalltown life, or just that need to get away. This song has by far the clearest vocal on this collection, with its infectious beat that just sucks you in. I’m reminded of “Minority” era Green Day, but I could pick one from a number of influences. “Ready To Roll” returns the power although the underlying Rockabilly element is apparent throughout. It’s powerful, anthemic and ‘in yer face’! It’s a 2 minute epic that never wanes.

Graveyard Johnnys

“I Wont Wait” has a harsh guitar intro that keeps time with that frenetic bass again. Whether a twisted lovesong or an ode to a failed relationship it pulls no punches lyrically with both its honesty and sentiment. The longer the song goes on the angrier the vocal delivery. It’s another standout cut that bridges the divide between Rockabilly and Punk. A classic and one imagines a live favourite. “Compromise” begins with chugging guitars and a footstomping beat. Joe’s vocals are delivered in more of a “sea shanty” style here. In fact the whole “Sail Away, Sail Away” gives it that whole “nautical” feel. Tom’s drums in the middle and end are powerful and potent-there’s no let-up.

“Mothers” is a much softer, semi-acoustic little number. A personal and honest tribute to “our” Mothers. Softer beats and a clangy guitar are complimented by a clear, passionate vocal. It briefly comes alive in the latter stages with some subtle “Woah, Woah’s” – “this one’s for our Mothers, the girls that set us free” is a truly great lyric. On the final track “Little Witch” the ferocity returns. Tom is pounding the skins while Callum is intricately picking. It’s as close to Punk as these guys get, and for this reviewer a real gem. Great song structure, the classic slow/fast element in parts, some brooding bass, a nasally vocal here and there and some sheer aggression thrown in for good measure! If they end their live sets with this song they’d just leave you begging for more.

To sum up, this is a great collection. The highest compliment I can pay them is that this LP gets better song by song. With a resurgence in this genre and a few years of hard touring behind them I expect to see the Graveyard Johnnys on the Bizaar Bazaar stage at Rebellion in the next 18 months at the very least! Only time will tell, but on this evidence the futures bright.

Graveyard Johnnys

Line Up
Joe Grogan-stand up bass/vox
Tom Lord-drums
Callum Houston-Guitars


Review by Ross A. Ferrone

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