By Jim Rowland

Artwork for Quonk by Johnny MopedForming in Croydon way back in 1974, punk legends Johnny Moped are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, and as well as playing a string of gigs around the country, they celebrate 50 years of making a glorious racket by returning with brand-new album ‘Quonk!’, released this week on Damaged Goods Records.

‘Quonk!’ is only the band’s fifth studio album in all of those 50 years, and the fourth since they reformed in 1991. There’s no radical musical departures here, and you wouldn’t expect that anyway, just pure, traditional old-school punk rock delivered in Moped’s own inimitable fun-loving style.

The likes of ‘Heebie Jeebie Boogie’, ‘Sounds Like’, ‘I’m a Skitzoid (Mind Bender Syndrome)’ and ‘Doggy Woggy’ are all great, fast-paced slices of good old fashioned punk rock with catchy riffs, hooks and choruses, the heavy rock ’n’ roll of ‘Roxy You’re Gone’ actually bears a passing resemblance to Hawkwind’s ‘Orgone Accumulator’ whilst the creepy art-punk of ‘Skin’ heads to the darker side of things. In contrast, ‘Things May Happen’, ‘Lockdown Boy’ and ‘See The Time Is Late’ all have a lighter, pop quality to them.

Particular highlights for me are the power-pop/punk of ‘Oh Jane’ and ‘Funny’, with the latter even boasting some trumpet, and both highlighting the fact that Johnny Moped in 2024 call still come up with some killer songs, and both these are absolute peaches. Not surprisingly with Moped, the lyrics are often light-hearted, covering such subjects as dogs, pubs and women and Johnny himself delivers the tunes, whilst perhaps not always quite in tune, but with the usual abundance of Johnny Moped charm.

‘Quonk!’ is a fine way to celebrate 50 years: a great, fun album full of quality tunes and a worthy enhancement to the Johnny Moped legacy.

The album is available on CD or on neon green or pink vinyl (425 copies each), or 50th anniversary gold vinyl if you buy the bundle (100 copies only – so be quick for that quonk!).

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