I’m going to be fully honest and admit that I’m not the biggest Alternative Rock fan out there. I had my phase in the genre when I was a kid, listening to my brother’s CDs in the early 2000s, but overall, I have moved to other types of music. Having said that, one thing I have learned throughout the years is that you can find good entertainment in different types of songs, regardless of whether you are a fan of the genre or not. As the saying goes, a good song is a good song.
All of that introduction brings up to the protagonist of this review, Johnny Craven. Hailing from both New York City in the United States and Barcelona in Spain, this band was the brainchild of its namesake, Johnny Craven, in early stages of 2019 and gained a significant cult following with several demos that were released back then, showing the group’s brand of Alternative Rock mixed with electronica undertones.
A bizarre combination of goth aesthetics, occultist lyrics and a wide musical scope makes Johnny Craven a very niche type of band, but one that delivers for those that want a very unique of Alternative Rock–that is especially shown in their first ever release official release, single Bleed.
Singles like this one are interesting for new bands because it serves as a way to introduce yourself to the music world and I personally think that Bleed does that job quite well, actually. Mainly because it sets the tone quite well of what to expect of this band and it’s a very nice musical description of everything they stand for, at least musically speaking.
From the get-go you can hear the electronica influence and it sustains itself through most of the song, showcasing Johnny’s vocal talents as well. And perhaps he is not naturally gifted as, say, Rob Halford from Judas Priest, but knowing how to make catchy melodies and delivering them with conviction and charisma is a talent within itself, which is something that is clearly on display in this particular song.
The track itself is quite straightforward and catchy, meant to get people’s attention from the very first listen, which I personally think is a very smart decision because it shows people what they are all about and does it with melodies, a catchy rhythm and with a very solid production, sounding crisp and clear in every single instrument and section of Bleed.
The rest of the single are alternate takes of the first song. They are not bad or good, at least from my personal perspective, but rather different takes of the same track. I think it can be interesting for a few listeners because it shows the band flexing their musical muscles and trying different approaches to the same song, so I guess that makes for an entertaining time, if we look at it from that point of view.
Regardless, I consider Bleed a solid introduction of Johnny Craven into the music world and a sound way to lead into their 2021 debut album, MACH1NƎ.