This is a review of "For Emergency Use Only" recorded by Jon Doe's. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2002.
Having been around since 1998 it is hoped that Jon Doe's would now be at ease with their craft enough to have overcome all those painful mistakes synonymous with any bands early days. However what we are presented with here is a rather flat and tired collection of text book punk songs. The full throttle style suits the genre but offers very little in the way of fresh ideas and it is a real struggle to pick out any tune thatscreams "Jon Doe's are the f**kin business!"
The musicianship can't be faulted, with guitar slamming a plenty and although the vocals are occasionally flat it is nice to hear a local punk band that isn't adopting that West Coast style in their vocal delivery. The real let down is production, often making the band sound like Neds Atomic Dustbin - I might be wrong, but I'm sure that wasn't a conversation that was held in the studio! The melodies and harmonies are ok, but I guarantee you will have heard them before, and yet the often uncanny resemblance to China Drum is no bad thing (well it never did them any harm).
The band are at their best and most memorable with "My Girlfriend is an Alien" and despite some plainly awful lyrics also on closer "Capital C".
This is an 8 song CD of a band enjoying themselves immensely, belting out some noisy punk to oust the weeks frustrations. For your average goofy 16 year old skate kid it "ROCKS!" for the rest of us it's been done before and it just isn't quite enough. With a couple of slower or more alternative challenging numbers added to their obvious mastery of the grrr guitar then Jon Doe's would have a name for themselves.