B.A. Johnston, Hi Dudes!
Just this past weekend as my wife set off for Home Sense for the fourth time in a single week, I decide to hang back at Tim Horton’s to review B.A. Johnston’s eighth (!) release. I couldn’t have picked a better spot as Johnston’s comedic observations surround the seemingly mundane. I didn’t know what to expect from an album called Hi Dudes! but straight from the get-go it had me hooked.
Three of my favourite tracks are built around infectious arcade beats; opening track “Raised By The Wooded Spoon” introduces Johnston’s love for nostalgia where he drops references for ColecoVision, Thundercats and Tab. But he does it in a way where it come off completely earnest and sweet and it reminds yourself of those moments in your life. The two other pop-numbers include “Best Day Ever” an ode to McDonald’s coupon day and “Eye of The Douchestorm” a vivid description of every popular bar in the downtown area.
Beside those three tracks, Johnston is a folk singer through and through – his guitar playing is quite good and his lyrics are dead honest and sometimes quite sombre. “RPG” is especially heart-breaking with the line, “Final Fantasy 7 saved my life…stops me wondering who you are with tonight”. Again on “I Miss You, Arcade” Johnston mourns the loss of 7-11 arcades almost as hard as losing the girl. It’s not all sad though, “Dirtbag Beach”, “Heating Bill Blues” are awesome numbers that will have you humming all day and closer “Lawn Gnomes” is a quiet and silly end to an addictive and fun record. (Mammoth Cave Recording Co.) ~ 4 Stars