Animal Instinct

Jonny Couch

Damaged Sofa Records, 2016

http://jonnycouch.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/29/2018

Though he was formerly behind the drum kit for The Choke and LoveCryme, New York City resident Jonny Couch has now positioned himself to the front of the stage with this 12” EP. Of course, though he's still pounding away with the sticks, he even takes up synth and organ duties in addition to vocals here, while Peter Mavrogeorgis handles the guitars and recording. After years of playing punk rock as well as other similar genres, Couch is now more on board with New Wave and power pop as he spreads his wings across five tracks.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Couch doesn't linger for long here but packs much in under 20 minutes, especially with the opening rocker “New Kind Of Cruel.” With a sneer not unlike Joey Ramone and a punchy, power pop feeling à la Cheap Trick, Couch gives us a taste of his '80s inspired rock with a great chorus and fun melody.

Title track “Animal Instinct” follows and takes an abrupt turn into chilling balladry, where Couch's retro synth matches the reflective mood that takes on soulful properties and a David Bowie influence.

Deeper tracks like “Haunting” are dramatic, thumping and full of glam-rock moments, giving it an anthemic and fun feeling, and “Really Wanna Touch” is probably the most diverse tune here while still indebted to the '80s. The EP closer “State Of Mind” is the best moment with a rugged yet melodic take on garage rock with backing female vocals and is reminiscent of the greatness achieved by Jesse Malin (D Generation).

Couch brings along his time in Pittsburgh and Cleveland here in the form of underlying garage rock, but with a glam, Roxy Music and Blondie sort of mashing that's often fueled by synth pop. Toss in the retro cover art and we get a throwback listen that's worthy of repeated listens.

Rating: B

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