JESSE W. JOHNSON is the first male solo artist to be featured by ROCKWIRED in the new year but don't think for a second that this Chicago-based troubadour serves up the same old fair that has become typical of many a male solo artist in the indie music vain. What sets JOHNSON apart is pure unadulterated guitar riff-age. The Windy City is somewhat famous for riff rock by the likes of bands as HUSKER DU and URGE OVERKILL and JOHNSON made a name for himself in that respect with his band JET W LEE. The band had built a following with such releases as CANNON ROWS, WESTERN NIGHTMARE, HOME TO ROAST and WHO SHALL REMAIN SHAMELESS but now that outfit is on an indefinite hiatus and JOHNSON is now gaining attention for his solo work. His latest EP PRIMAL SCREAM is the sort of gritty, gut-bucket, foot-stomping rock n roll that is both joyous and dark all at the same time. Now where is this featured more prominently than on the EP's scorching title track. But that doesn't mean that one should stop there. The feisty rocker FUCKED UP FIRST is a foul-mouthed anthem they may not get radio play but will definitely get a live audience fired up and EXPECTING TO FALL is a gentle, plaintive closer to a recording that has us wanting more form this man.
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