Birmingham, England guitar-pop legends Johnny Foreigner Monday disclosed they will release Mono No Aware, the fifth long-playing release of its decade-plus career, in the UK July 8 via long-time label partner Alcopop! Records. In the wake of some distro tomfoolery, the quartet revealed the album and its title last month, but few details were available. The news promises to continue to trickle at least for another week, as a message at the band's website suggests a new single, video, and "commerce" (we presume this means pre-orders) will arrive June 20. The same web site refers to Johnny Foreigner's album as arriving in "Summer 2016," so it is entirely likely that release dates for other territories -- the US release will be handled by Philadelphia's Lame-O Records, and the Japanese release by Vinyl Junkie -- will be staggered a bit. Noticeably absent at this point is format information, although a scan of certain gun-jumping ecommerce sites leads us to believe Mono No Aware will be available on LP, CD and as a digital download. Don't count out Disposable America for a tape release, eh guys?
The album's title is loosely translated from the Japanese as "the pathos of things," and relates to an awareness of impermanence that -- according to this blog's executive editor's wide-ranging liberal arts education -- has been a key aspect of Japanese literature and art for roughly the last half-millenium, from The Tale Of Genji to ukiyo-e and manga. Wikipedia breaks it down, dryly: "mono no aware has frequently been translated as 'the 'ahh-ness' of things', life, and love. Awareness of the transience of all things heightens appreciation of their beauty, and evokes a gentle sadness at their passing." Given the tone and content of fronter Alexei Berrow's recent revealing interview with Upset Magazine, its use as the title to Johnny Foreigner LP 5 feels perfectly suited. The record contains 10 tracks, its songs are concerned with the wonderful and terrifying stuff of life, and were inspired by, well, that stuff. A press release announcing (quietly, and basically only to those who found the link on the band's website, which appeared about a week ago) Mono No Aware describes it thusly:
"Johnny Foreigner is Us, the musical. We're not the type of band to spin our personal delights and disasters into PR angles, but it’s all there in what we create. There's births and marriages and drama and death. The casual horror you somehow just get used to in your 30s, and the moments of bliss and clarity you don't (and hope you never do)."Mono No Aware will be celebrated with release shows in Birmingham and London July 8 and 9 respectfully. The Birmingham date will be particularly amazing, as supports for the evening include Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam. The track listing from the album is below (there are bonus tracks, but you'll just have to wait to hear about those). Particularly clever fans will note the song that in effect opens the new record, "Undevestator," would seem to reverse the spell cast by the closer of Johnny Foreigner's no-shit-taking tour de force You Can Do Better, which was released in 2014. Mono No Aware is all killer and no filler, and we look forward to you all hearing it. It's the record of the summer, and ever after, amen. In the absence of a new song to share at press time, we're embedding below "Flooding," a rocker from last year's tremendous four-way split on Alcopop! and Dog Knights Productions.
1. Mounts Everest
3. I Can Show You The Way To Grand Central
4. The X and the O
5. Don't, Just Don't
6. Our Lifestyles Incandescent
7. The Worst Of Us
8. Into The Veldt
9. If You Can't Be Honest, Be Awesome
11. Decants The Atlantic
Johnny Foreigner: Bandcamp | Facebook | Internerds
Prior Johnny Foreigner Coverage:
Postscript: Johnny Foreigner's "Stop Talking About Ghosts" Review: Johnny Foreigner | You Can Do Better Review: Johnny Foreigner | Names EP
Review: Johnny Foreigner | Johnny Foreigner Vs. Everything
Cut The Rope And Jump Off: Johnny Foreigner On Alternate Timelines, Optimism And Everything
Review: Johnny Foreigner | Certain Songs Are Cursed EP
Review: Johnny Foreigner | You Thought You Saw A Shooting Star But Yr Eyes Were Blurred With Tears And That Lighthouse Can Be Pretty Deceiving...
Review: Johnny Foreigner | Grace And The Bigger Picture
Review: Johnny Foreigner | WeLeftYouSleepingAndGoneNow
Review: Johnny Foreigner | Waited Up 'Til It Was Light
Review: Johnny Foreigner | Arcs Across The City EP
That Was The Show That Was: Johnny Foreigner | Bowery Ballroom