US - Washington - Full Moon 96 - 07/31/04
The First Loss
John Clough, a member of Faith & Disease, has recorded a strong debut as the aptly named Johnny
Forlorn. Its dark stylings leads my thoughts to Nick Cave and other poets of loss and sadness.
"Evelyn" is a piano-led dirge about an unfortunate girl. The songs easy to sing along to and
has a rousing chorus which makes it stronger still. "Still Like Strangers" would be worthy of inclusion
on Cave's masterful "The Boatman's Call". Its insightful lyric and sweeping strings are great.
"Going Home" is a folk song of war that sticks in the mind. Clough has a way with language that
makes it sound like a biblical rather than contemporary war. "Hey Mr Dj" is a frantically swinging
slice of New Orleans jazz despite the title. I like Clough's demented turn at the piano here. "The
Devil's Lying Inside" is an epic of a man and his demons. Like so many of these songs it's too brilliant
to be at all downcast despite the weighty theme. Clough's wry sense of humor helps too.
The First Loss is a darkly compelling and utterly great record.
Copyright © 2004 Anna Maria Stjärnell