Johnny Lunchbreak, never even released an album. The band had roots at King Philip Junior High in West Hartford, Conn., and their story is a prototype for thousands of groups-- start out playing because it's fun, get serious, find success elusive (complete with cool reception by the NYC press), call it quits in frustration when you realize that feeding your child is more important than gigging at bars in Vernon for chump change.
But what most of those other bands didn't have was an album's worth of really good, unique songs that show a band tantalizingly close to a breakthrough. "Tinsel Days" has a colossal power pop hook and a great independent bassline, but the killer is "Not a Dry Eye in America", which shows off their harmonies and fakes you into believing it's a ballad before ramping up to a moody, blues-inflected climax. The recording quality is clean but not clear (these are demos in the true sense), but these guys had it, and it shows through the relatively murky sound.
by Joe Tangari
1. A Very Papal State - 5:33
2. Tinsel Days - 3:50
3. The Same Could Happen To You - 2:42
4. Never Found - 2:29
5. It's Got A Hold On You (Tom Ekwurtzel) - 5:16
6. Take Me Baby (John Gengras) - 3:36
7. Amazing Pain (Tom Ekwurtzel) - 3:24
8. Not A Dry Eye In America - 4:06
9. The Best That I Had - 5:43
All songs by Andrew Merritt except otherwise stated.
*Andrew Merritt - Guitar, Vocals, Drums
*Michael Clare - Bass
*John Gengras - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Guy Gengras - Drums, Vocals, Congas
*Tom Ekwurtzel - Guitar, Piano, Moog