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September 22, 2017


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Johnny Socko
Full Trucker Effect (PDS Productions)

By: Alex Steininger

Johnny Socko is a band all about fun. From their lyrics to their music, these guys know how to party and have a good time. Their music is very infectious, up tempo ska that also demonstrates their influences of pop and punk.

With a title like "Full Trucker Effect" you'd expect some humor. And that's just what they're going to serve up. After a quick sample called, "Ever been...?" the music begins. "Half Your Brain" hits you hard from the beginning and makes you dance and have a good time. The percussion will drill its way into your head, and the horns will back up everything with power. The guitar, with its up tempo riffs, will make your feet move. And move you will. You'll be hysterically dancing around like a mad man, but enjoying yourself! "Tired & Happy Life" starts out with a bit of a rock, pop-rock beginning, but will soon jump right back into the poppy-ska beats that will always make you laugh and smile. If your a depressed person, drop your lithium and pick up this CD. Just two musical tracks into the CD and you'll be bouncing off the walls with happiness. The horns always come in bright and powerful, and the vocals are always strong. The rock detour comes in a time or two, but the ska always picks back up and makes your feet move. "Next Big Thing" is a humorous take on the music industry. Even though they're playing "ska" music which has been hyped as the "next big thing," they still know how to get down and have fun, all the while making fun of everything around them. The track itself is a bit slower, and not as danceable. Maybe they want you to sit down and think a bit? Think about all this hype and what not, and how they don't give a shit about all this hype, because after the record labels interest is gone they'll still be here playing run down clubs just for fun. That's the beauty of this band. They know how to have fun, they know their own limits, and they keep pushing them to maximize the fun level. "Boraborinski Brothers" is not ska, not pop, and not punk. What is it then? Ever been to Oktoberfest? This song reminds me of a German beer drinking party song mixed in with a bit of drunk sailors singing along for fun. The song is humorous, but after a few listens it starts to get very old. The multiple vocals singing along at times gets very annoying, and the song seems like something they did on the seat of their pants to get a good laugh. They might have at the time, but I think the right place for this song would have been a hidden track, not a standard track. "She's Righteous" delivers more of the fast paced ska that will get your feet up and skankin' along. The guitar goes from fast dancing, to pop hooks that grab you in and never let go. The horns scream in glory, adding a softer touch to those harder moments. The rest of the band plays fast and loud at times, and following the quick pop hooks at others. The drums beat away, while the bass ticks away adding depth to the song. "Hasselhoff" is a slow jazz/pop/ska tune sure to make you laugh. As they take stabs at David Hasselhoff you can't help but get a big grin and then bust up laughing. The hooks reel you in, while the lyrics keep you coming back for more. A sample called "Keep on Truckin'" ends the CD, but soon a different version of "Boraborinski Brothers" appears. Not as funny as the original, and even less musically appealing. Definitely a good song for a hidden track.

If your looking for some music that doesn't take itself seriously and is all about a good time, than look no further. These guys will make you laugh hysterically night in and night out. A definite A.

Johnny Socko's low dough deal:

  • send $1 and a self addressed stamped envelope (9" x 4" envelope preferable) and receive 2 Johnny Socko stickers

  • send $2 and receive the Johnny Socko sampler cassette which features one song from each of their three recordings. (P&H is included in the $2.00)

  • send $3 and receive the cassette and the stickers (P&H is included, no self-addressed stamped envelope is necessary)

    The address to order directly is:
    Johnny Socko
    P.O. Box 1612
    Indianapolis, IN 46206-1612

    or check out the offer on the web: www.johnnysocko.com

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