BY TIM HINELY
I was going to make fun of the band name but then read about it and it’s an interesting story (it was leader Jason Smiths’ grandfather’s nickname). Smith has done time in bands like OBN III and The Best but when a bandmate split town Smith was chomping at the bit to get something else going and thus, Jonly Bonly was born.
If you’re expecting some kinda slobbering punk rock ala OBN III then think again, on this record Smith is showing more of a pop side with nifty, mid-tempo songs that are akin to the Buzzcocks or the late, great Exploding Hearts (with a dash of Jay Reatard). On side A Smith and company (company being bassist Stephen Svacina and drummer Marley Jones, both form other 12XU band Sweet Talk) grind out some righteous pop nuggets like opener “I Don’t Mind” and “You Got It.” Flip ‘er over and side B is even better. Both “Never Thought I’d Die” and “Total Control” are among Smith’s best as is the record-ending, epic “Too Many Things.”
Best lyric: “I feel better when I haven’t heard from you.” (-from “Better”). Amen.
DOWNLOAD: “I Don’t Mind,” “You Got It,” “Never Thought I’d Die,” “Total Control,” “Too Many Things”