Just a Fool – Healthy Junkies (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Punk’s not dead, it just got a new set of threads and learned to move with times. And for every dozen or so bands who never got the memo, the one that said, “turn up, make music, break stuff, evolve, move on, repeat” there is one like Healthy Junkies who learned how to keep the punk spirit alive by dressing it up in modern sonic attire. Okay, there is nothing particularly cutting edge about low-slung incendiary guitar riffs, four-four back beats, lyrics aimed at inciting a riot, but that is the point isn’t it? These things work. They have always worked and will always work. They have been tried and tested. They have be judged and found groovy as fuck!

And so Healthy Junkies walk that fine line between the then and the now, and do so with the sure footedness that the task demands. Familiar enough to pick up an army of ageing punk fans via a whiff of nostalgia and a whole lot of modern cool and fresh enough to draw in the new kids on the rock block looking for some escape from a tsunami of beige bands and saccharine pop-tarts. Just a Fool is the right blend of melody and menace, cool enough to be a cult hit, catchy enough to find commercial traction. The sweet spot indeed!

It’s not like they creating whole new genres or travelling anywhere too far off the musical map, but then again they never said that they were! They may just be re-inventing the wheel, but as they do so they are certainly giving it a polish up, a paint job and a new set of white walled tires before leave burnt rubber tracks down the highway. Not that it is a problem, not everything is about kicking down the barriers and exploring new pastures, some of it is about diving for pearls in familiar waters. Enough of the metaphors!

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