Jon Boy is Jonathan Mercer. The full-time high school English teacher who likes to rock out when he isn’t assigning detention and enduring the excitement of a faculty meeting delivered a badass eponymous four-song EP Jon Boy.
I’m going to surmise Mercer is around my age. High school was a good twenty years back for me and back then I was listening to a lot of indie rock. Guided By Voices were underground gods at the time within certain social circles but The Replacements were fairly ubiquitous. Suffice it to say those bands were influential to Mercer. The four songs are certainly raw and emit a lo-fi punk rock aesthetic. This type of music could be ruined when it’s overproduced.
“Bleeding Through My Back(Wasted on the Throne)” is the first track and revolves around a driving beat, aggressive distorted guitar and catchy vocals. It’s the type of track that sounds better with every increased decibel. In fact this type of music is best heard live, in a small club that smells like beer and piss. The song is just under three minutes and contains a blaring guitar solo towards the end.
“My Way” isn’t as overtly punk rock as “Bleeding Through My Back (Wasted on the Throne)” but might be catchier. The vocal melody is pretty infectious and if he is promoting a single I think this would be the song. I also dug that breakdown. Is that tremolo I hear or just a comb filter caused by phase?
The energy continues with “Flat On My Face.” It's another solid track and kind of a mix of different genres. The lead guitar feels a little bluesy, the verse has an alternative ’90s feel and the chorus doesn't back down and felt a little like early Pavement. Last up is “Gonna Be Delighted.” The lead guitar is wicked and works really well against the enthusiastic vocal melody. Mercer gets epic towards the end with reverb laced vocals and mounds of distortion.
Mercer isn’t introducing new places these types of songs could go but stays faithful to the ethics and spirit of the pioneers. On that note fans of the aforementioned bands should throughly enjoy this. I’m sure some of his students do. Recommended.
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