Anyone (well, let’s be honest) everyone seems to knock out singles these days and sometimes it’s not really clear why. But Johnny 5th Wheel does it the right way.
I do like this band; they knock out great songs and just have something about them that deserves more recognition. What makes them special is that they are a true singles act: both their sense of occasion and their appreciation of how to make a clear statement are their strong suits. In many other hands this record could have been turgid, awful. Anyone (well, let’s be honest) everyone seems to knock out singles these days and sometimes it’s not really clear why. But Johnny 5th Wheel does it the right way.
There’s something of the Coral about Diary of a Liar, or even the Divine Comedy. Pitched at a middling tempo and replete with whimsical story with a clever refrain, it’s all a bit but it bounces along in a clean and sprightly manner. The flipside, Pure Imagination is a softer matter altogether, it’s a classic show tune: it could have been on A Taste of Honey is that film had dropped all the grim up north stuff and decided to get Dick Van Dyck and his chums in. The singer’s warbling is at one turn and slightly camp: there’s this little warble that’s very Bowie, but fair enough. It’s good, regardless.