Since 2010 John Henry has been playing music together and only recently released their debut EP entitled Astronauts. The band comprised of Pierre-Marc Mc Nicoll (vocals/guitar), Jean-Francois Ouellet (guitar/vocals), Alexandre Tremblay (bass), Jerome Ducasse (guitar/piano/vocals) and Tommy Connelly (drums/vocals) makes straightforward hard rock post-grunge style music that most people should all be familiar with.
Most of the songs revolve around basic power chords and palatable vocal melodies that will still appeal to the largest possible demographic of listeners who aren't interested in exploring the fringe of what music offers. The singing which is familiar at times reminded me of Chris Daughtry and Chad Kroeger . You can hear it when he strains his voice and that is still very common with mainstream hard rock acts. That being said I would rather listen to music from John Henry than from the bands of the two lead singers I just mentioned.
The EP opens with “Colored Twice” which is a no frills yet predictable rock song that establishes the foundation for the rest of the songs. It refuses to go in any direction that you can't see coming a mile ahead but nonetheless it is enjoyable for those of us who refuse ethnic food and would prefer to stick to the ham sandwich.
The vibe on “Good Times” is indicative of the title. It’s an upbeat song with juxtaposed lyrics that have a number of inspired moments. One such moment is around the two-minute mark. You can hear influence from The Foo Fighters on “Air & Time” but the vocalist doesn’t sound anything like David Grohl. As the EP progresses the band continues with a similar hard rock. The highlight is arguably the closer “Sudden Call.”
The singing on Astronauts is solid but Pierre-Marc Mc Nicoll’s voice happens to sound similar to a lot of other radio friendly hard rock bands that found success in the US. It’s a double-edged sword because it's obviously a well received style but on the same token it is put against a lot of competition. Astronauts isn’t the most original music to come out this year but will definitely resonate with a demographic and it shouldn't take hours of scrutinizing to realize if you fall into that camp.
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