There’s something unsettling about Brooklyn punk act Gay for Johnny Depp. It’s not the band’s name. It’s not the band’s sound, a swarming, cathartic blast of well-honed hardcore-esque punk. It’s not the band’s lyrical sloganeering or the oddball non sequiturs that pop up throughout the group’s Sex Vid Singles Club EP. No, these are all signs that the dudes in Gay for Johnny Depp are smart and savvy.
The problem with Sex Vid Singles Club is that the pieces don’t quite connect or fit. The music goes for the gut, the quasi-political lyrics go for the mind, and the group’s overall presentation goes for a surrealistic sensibility. But it all feels unfinished and unconnected. Sex Vid Singles Club follows familiar paths set down by beloved punk acts like Refused and Nation of Ulysses, although Gay for Johnny Depp does it with a little more irony. But while the former bands struck a nerve in the pulse of society—at least, for those that listened to them—Gay for Johnny Depp’s Sex Vid Singles Club lacks a certain clarity in vision and sound. Or maybe that’s the point.