Jonny & The Mental Breakdowns

Formed from the ashes of four other bands comes Jonny and the Mental Breakdowns, from that hive of Punk Rock that is Milton Keynes! With a history spanning some four years and a couple of notable releases under their belts on Cherry Red Records no less comes this storming 6 track EP, chock full of Punk Rock classics.

“Consistency of Energy” is a snare-driven opener which kicks into life with a Jello Biafra-inspired vocal. That clear audible vocal is matched to a driving Punk beat. The racey little bridge with its stretched chord section I feel is inspired by the early American H/C sound. The obligatory “woah, woah, woah’s” are present here and it’s a decent opener.

“You’re Not Pablo Escobar” is a subject matter we can all relate to – the local small-time drug dealer who thinks he’s the big “I am”. Immediately I’m reminded of The Lurkers on this track, notably the drums which have that ‘manic Esso’ style to the hitting. Scott’s snare once again keeps the beat, matched to Sox’s throbbing bass. There’s humour and honesty in the vocal while those racey guitars hold the beat through to the brilliant ending.

Jonny & The Mental Breakdowns

“Last Chance To Dance” slows the pace somewhat, before opening up with a scratchy guitar sound. More Biafra-inspired vocals on this ode to dancing. It has that feel good factor running through it while delivering on all fronts – tight drums, strong anthemic vocals and great guitars. A possible set closer live but having never seen the band play this is but a mere suggestion!

‘Bricks at Windows’ has a chunkier guitar opening on this heavier number. It screams First Wave USA Punk and the chorus while simplistic has an anthemic shout aloud menace to it. That bass throbs once more in the bridge, giving way to a whispered chorus that just builds and builds. Whether a call to arms or simply a humorous aside, it’s a thought-provoking song about rejection. The guitar and drums at the end have more than a passing nod to the Ruts, but it’s purely coincidental.

The standout track on this collection is the Dropkicks-esque “Let’s Raise a Beer”, a feel-good song about raising a beer no less! It’s neither Folk nor Celtic but it has that whole anthemic stomp and all round singalong factor about it. It’s a straight up Punk song, the heavy snare matched to some acoustic guitars this time. More “woah’s” and singalongs and no doubt a staple in the live arena. The customary “oi,oi,oi’s” invoke visions of inebriated males stood on tables singing in unison while spilling beer everywhere! An absolute classic.

“Running backwards” closes this collection with a slightly gravelly vocal. That snare once more drives the beat; while the guitars are simple enough, (noodly in the bridge). It’s not the most inventive chorus but decent enough. Lyrically it comes across as defeatist but I guess that’s the point. Possibly a hidden message about something or someone on a personal level, but that’s for you the listener to decide.

Jonny & The Mental Breakdowns

If this is your first introduction to the band then it’s a good starting point. Six songs of varying styles and influences, delivered confidently and well produced. I feel Jonny and the Mental Breakdowns pretty much have it all. A great name, a clutch of great songs and a clear work ethic. One look at their biography would suggest they donít support just anyone, having supported the leading lights in the scene. Perhaps this EP will be the stepping stone toward appearances at ‘Nice n Sleazy/Rebellion’ and the like – we shall wait and see? But for now, their stock must be rising. Donít believe me? Then buy this EP and judge for yourselves.

Track Listing
Consistency of Energy
You’re Not Pablo Escobar
Last Chance to Dance
Bricks at Windows
Let’s Raise a Beer
Running Backwards

Band members
Jonny – vocals/rhythm guitar
Sox – bass/vocals
Jack – lead guitars/vocals
Scott – drums


Review by Ross A. Ferrone

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