Johnny Nine and the Racers – “Open Up Your Ears”

Album Reviews | Apr 1st, 2006

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Whoa! a ska band, I remember those. I forget, what does ska sound like. Does it sound like Ricky Martin? Or perhaps it sounds like Huey Lewis and the News? Yeah I’m just being stupid, I know what ska sounds like and Johnny Nine and the Racers fit the bill. Since I used to talk Davey (the singer) over Instant Messenger, I guess I can bump up their CD in the review queue. I’m generally sick of reviewing the same bands over and over but when I get to hear a ska CD, it breaks up the monotony very well. The band comes from Cheshire CT and recorded this CD in January at Dexter’s Lab Studios in Hamden.

Their sound is a cross between Catch 22, Big D and Spring Heeled Jack. Those are some pretty cool bands to be compared to in my opinion. Just like those bands, they walk the fine line of playing ska & punk. One minute it’s ska, then its a straight up punk rock. I think the best song on the album is “Open Up Your Ears,” which is also the title track. It best demonstrates what Johnny Nine and the Racers sound like. The vocals are good (sometimes whiny but thats ok), the drumming and guitars are fine; but the horns sounds off to me. Not every song but every once and awhile. Maybe it’s the production of the CD? I don’t know, but the overall sounds great though. I bet they sound ten times better live. They seem like the type of band that jumps around stage like monkeys. I think the band sounds better when they slow it down a bit and aren’t doing the super fast ska-punk stuff. I like a mid-tempo ska song where I can dance to and not look like an idiot skankin out of tune….Well back in the day when I actually danced at shows. ANYWAY, if you live in CT, i’m sure you heard of these guys already. But anyone else that doesn’t live in that state, should go out and give these guys a listen. Check out their myspace page here: I’m looking forward to hearing more from Johnny Nine and the Racers!

Bottom Line: A CT ska-punk band that sounds pretty damn good!
Notable Tracks: Open Up Your Ears, This Is Me, Please Dance With Me
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