Favorite

Mike Johnson 

Gone Out of Your Mind (Up)

Anger, it's said, is depression turned outward. We already knew Mike Johnson was musically a melancholy sort, as his previous, sepia-tinged solo records spoke of betrayal, decay, and mortality, with subdued brushstrokes of acoustic guitar, wistful strings, and the singer's resigned baritone. But on Gone Out of Your Mind, Johnson puts aside the gentle instrumentation and country ballads for an in-your-face electric record that's no less bleak, but a lot louder and pissed off.

The former sideman for Dinosaur Jr. seems to take a page from the J. Mascis book, trading massive reverb-drenched guitar licks with Brett Netson (Built to Spill, Caustic Resin) during the rave-ups "On Track" and "Pass By," and the Soundgardenesque "Can't Get It Right."

The record's best tracks ply a middle ground, like the slow-burn blues of the title cut and a transcendent Black Heart Procession-meets-Junior Byles cover of the latter's reggae classic, "Fade Away." Sounding similar to Mark Lanegan (with whom he also performs), Johnson sings of artifice, the fickle nature of friendship, inequality, and the damage drugs do. Standard themes for him, true, but here their collective weight has driven him to let loose, and it suits him.

Speaking of CD Review

More by John Schacht

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • At the Movies — North by Northwest LIVE @ Severance Hall

    • Sun., Nov. 19
  • John Caparulo @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Thu., Nov. 23
  • Cleveland Improv Jam @ Coffee Phix

    • Sundays

© 2017 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation