God or Julie

This Road Before

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God or Julie, the New York-based quartet led by two brothers, J.P. Johnson and Adam Johnson, from Denver, is one of those hard rock bands that flirts with the edge of heavy metal without ever quite crossing the line. The rhythm section pounds along, generally at an aggressive tempo, and the guitars slash and scream with powerful riffs, but somehow things stay just melodic enough to retain a pop definition. The difference, really, may lie with J.P. Johnson, who sings lead and writes all the songs. If he howled in rage, you'd call the music metal, but instead he uses his adenoidal voice to croon his lyrics of typical romantic angst. Things have not been going well in the girlfriend department for the narrator of these songs, but J.P. Johnson actually seems less concerned about that than he does about deciding on which notes to jump into falsetto. This is the music of a young band; the musicians sound excited and energetic as they seem to race each other through the record. They don't have time to stop and explore anything in any depth, but they seem to be having fun, and it's not hard to imagine that the audiences at their shows do, too.

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