Johnny5thWheel&thecowards very helpfully describe their style as “experimental-folk-swing music” so, at the very worst, their new EP isn’t going to sound conventional. Furthermore, with Bruce Forsight on accordion, Jack Coward on organ and led by the mandolin-wielding Johnny up front, one would expect a lot of fun too. A four track EP gives a brief introduction in to their peculiar little world.
‘OMySoul’ uses a deliberately lo-fi production with Johnny crooning along as his trusty band of cronies add accordion, percussion and drunken harmonies. Johnny himself is actually a fine vocalist; reminiscent of ex-Jack frontman Anthony Reynolds. He excels particularly on ‘Brotherly Love’ which breaks out the stringed instruments and is surprisingly intense for folk music as Johnny compares himself to a “cad” and a “rake”. The EP concludes with the relatively conventional ‘I’ve Got A Secret’ whereas ‘FollowTheWheel[PartIII]’ is the kind of instrumental men and women of certain might dance a merry jig to if they were that inclined.
Although it’s hard to work out whether they want to be taken seriously, there is a lot of musical merit on show here. However, there is also the inescapable feeling that they’ll find more success on the live circuit rather than in the front room.
Jack, Dexys Midnight Runners