Johnny Wolga – Gold Hits (Contra)

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Can it really be almost a decade since Johnny Wolga’s debut album dropped? Apparently so, but somehow it only feels like it was five minutes ago, especially as it still sounds fresh whenever I dig it out. This one’s been a couple of years in the making, but I’m glad it has finally landed – it’s been well worth the wait. The initial impression is how Herr Wolga’s vocals bear more than a passing resemblance to Olga from The Toy Dolls. Olga meet Wolga if you like. But there’s more to it than that.

 These guys have swallowed the punk rock guidebook, puked it up and downed it once more. The 77 style never sounded as vibrant! Take a big handful of Buzzcocks, throw in a fistful of The Briefs and even a pinch of early Cock Sparrer just to spice the mix up. That all means you have bags of snotty attitude, but more importantly the tunes to bring that party to life. It’s worth listening to the lyrics Herr Wolga spins a decent yarn with nods and winks to all sorts of musical greats. Gold Hits is a great slab of bubblegum punk rock that you can pogo along with all day long. Tom Chapman

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