B.A. Johnston

Shit Sucks

Okay, with a title like Shit Sucks and the cartoonish drawing of B. A. Johnston on the cover of the CD, I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought it would be a punk rock recording. I was pleasantly surprised (although I do like punk).

What I heard on the CD - also released on blue vinyl - sounded like something from the love child of Bob Dylan and Weird Al Yankovic. The recording is a blend of folk meets 80's pop with many historical references to topics such as Pac Man, The Allman Brothers, Max Webster and Doug and the Slugs.

The CD starts with a crying baby. Johnston seems to pacify the tot with his witty and humorous lyrics and cheesy, danceable melodies. The instrumentation is sparse with a few songs, like “BK Has a New King” featuring just an acoustic guitar.

With 19 tracks and clocking in at 36:27 the songs are more like statements and straight to the point. He tackles important issues like “When Is Trash Day?” and the drive into Toronto in “The Commute.” The Hamilton native certainly has a way with words as he woos the ladies: "You're like an Ikea hot dog, can't say no, can't let go, I can't resist you."

At the end of the CD the baby cries again, quick, hit repeat. A fun CD.

Johnston is doing a Canadian tour to promote the CD and will play The Handsome Daughter on April 3

Published in Volume 69, Number 25 of The Uniter (March 18, 2015)

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