Johnny Panic : Automatic Healer
(Barking Dog / Concept)

Johnny Panic are my favourite new band. As some of you may have guessed. Not only do they have bags of intelligence, attitude, energy, adrenaline and things to say, they also have stacks of tunes to live for. A listen to their debut album 'The Violent Dazzling' will leave you reeling, there's so many quality, infectious, inspiring and memorable songs that will have you singing along from the second listen for the rest of your life. The guitars are spikey, the rhythm section frantic yet tight the twin vocal attack (one urgently nasal, one resonantly deeper) complement each other perfectly to ram the astute and inspiring lyrics into your skull.

New single 'Automatic Healer' is no exception, a glorious pop moment, a riot of choruses, and guitars riffing as noisily as next door's dog which wakes me in the mornings. It's got hit written all over it, apart from the fact that it's about prostitution. And unlike The Police's 'Roxanne', it points out that the problem must be with the men that use and abuse these desperate women. William Blake would have been nodding (and perhaps pogoing) in agreement.

Perhaps this slightly controversial subject matter will prevent the single from receiving the exposure it deserves. Maybe this is for the best, as the one thing that unnerves me about Johnny Panic is that their uncanny pop nous and lyrical dexterity means that I can easily imagine them playing huge stadiums. And, just for now, I'd rather they stayed as my favourite new band.

Don't believe my hype? Take a look and a listen at

Automatic Healer is released on September 12th


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