Thoughts reeling on death
You never get any rest
Back and forth and back again
The pacing only blinds you
Or defines you
The new single from Florida neo-goth outfit Johnstonsons, “Heavy Heaven”, stomps its way through five minutes of pop pageantry armed with punk teeth and romantic longing. Living in the space between contradictions, the lyrics straddle declarations and questions regarding love and loss.
With a sound akin to Drab Majesty, Cold Cave and New Order, a wave of familiar baritone melancholia comes at us enveloped with ringing guitars and eerie synths, giving way to a solid, echoing hook.
“Heaven then becomes a stand-in for the sanctity of decision-making, its heaviness weighing us down, bludgeoning us with our own question to answer: is a wrong decision better than indecision?” says the band.
With their cerebral poetry and emotional delivery, this Midwest Gothic sound embodies the general malaise of a generation caught in a tsunami of oppression, with just a hint of paranoia.
Like the surreal suburbia of a Lynch film, Johnstonsons is just subtle enough to require a double take. Like The Melvins or The Smiths, the punchline of the name “Johnstonsons” lies in the defiance against the bland, archaic Midwest values it personifies. “A name so simple, yet difficult to pronounce,” the band explains. “This strange simplicity leads one down a path of neo-goth, post-wave, pop music that seems to be a dark joke, but never gives up on understanding the fun in romantic pop structures, chantable hooks, grand outros. “What’s more fun than screaming that you’re done fucking around in a room full of Joy Division t-shirts?” they conclude.