Jump to content


JOHNFISH SPARKLE come from Italy and this is their second album, released by Transubstans Records in 2011. For me it's the first record I've heard from JOHNFISH SPARKLE, and it's definitely an ambitious work that's diverse and eclectic for the genre. Here, too, the aim is to conserve the hard rock of the 1970's but unlike some other backward-looking bands, JOHNFISH SPARKLE have a modern approach to their songs. Moreover, there is an noticeable bluesy influence that adds warmth to the guitar tone. Most of the songs are five minutes or longer, and the band shines in this epic style.

There are a couple of interesting time signatures embedded in the complex song structures, with the result that the music appears to be progressive. Sometimes I am reminded of Gov't Mule being on a huge Led Zeppelin kick, although JOHNFISH SPARKLE is far away from the virtuosity of Gov't Mule. And there's a huge difference regarding the singing. The vocals of guitarist Al Serra are not as heavy and earthy as the ones from Warren Haynes, but nonetheless Serra's style sits well with the songs.

So far, so good - but unfortunately the recognition value of JOHNFISH SPARKLE is not particularly great. We live in an era in which 1970's influenced rock bands are springing up like mushrooms out of the ground. I think that's not bad (although I show the first signs of fatigue...), but in fact precisely for that reason it is very important to make its own individual mark, otherwise you will sink into oblivion very soon. So, in my humble opinion JOHNFISH SPARKLE should work to develop a higher profile, but apart from that I have nothing to complain about. In short, a very solid second effort.