Johnny Violent – Shocker – Review

Johnny Violent

Shocker (Earache)
by Scott Hefflon

Hey, wasn’t that the name of Wes Craven’s schlock-metal horror flop about Horace Pinker, the bald psycho (who said “fuck” better than anyone I’ve ever heard!) who, like, possessed people and then, like, killed them? The soundtrack had every mid-’80s thrashy glam band that wasn’t in rehab or strung out (hence only 10 songs), and that “supergroup,” the Dudes of Wrath (oh, God!), and was produced by Desmond “I want every other credit to be my name” Child. What’s the transition between the Shocker soundtrack and Johnny Violent‘s new double-disc? None.

Well, Johnny Violent is back at it again, programming 200+ BPM songs about sex, violence, and… well, sex and violence mainly. Two songs dip slightly below the 200 mark (he’s getting soft!), perhaps they’re ballads. “E-Heads Must Die” and “Pull The Trigger” are probably just clever titles for Johhny to mask his feminine side. As usual, JV tosses in a shitload of samples, random superspeed drum lines, dramatic breaks, and fuck-a-thon drum loops. I haven’t been able to match the record breaking the 20,000,000 BPM, but I doubt that Superman could pump his hips that fast, so I don’t feel so bad. I truthfully like the glimpses of revved-up Wagner and interspersed military marches better than the repitition of that same fucking kick drum, that same fucking synth sound, and every other trick in the dog-eared book of techno clichés. Hard techno or not, most of this shit has no structure and doesn’t build to anything. Each song, admittedly, has one supercool part (a quote, a great sample, a really memorable phrase) but the rest, unless you’re zooming your brain into instant oatmeal on a dancefloor at some government-approved rave, is kinda stupid. Fun, darkly humorous, and energetic, but stupid.

Favorite tracks are “I’m Gonna Fuck You,” for obvious reasons; “Johnny Is A Bastard,” ’cause the nyah-nyah porno queen voice meshes nicely with the rampaging piano; and part two of “Pull The Trigger,” ’cause the “Do You Want To Get High” segue into Van Halen’s “Jump” has the take-speed-and-shake-your-fuckable-ass balls the original should have had in the first place. If all Top 40 dance music was this energetic and fun, I’d probably get laid a lot more and not hate the pathetic state of the world so much. So there.