Gay for Johnny Depp - Manthology: A Tireless Exercise in Narcissism

Chris Shipman 04/12/2009

Rating: 4/5

Right from opening track Cumpassion's frenzied pots-and-pans percussive intro, Manthology sees Gay For Johnny Depp showcase a glorious, cacophonous mess of gleefully homo-erotic overtoned aural bile. It's hugely engaging stuff as frontman Marty Leopard, tongue-firmly-in-cheek, shrieks and screams his way through 31 tracks of dissonant hardcore which lyrically focuses almost entirely on violating pre-pubescents everywhere's favourite silver-screen pirate.

With lyrics like 'Fucked him in the ass, 'cause i want my Johnny bleeding' among standard fare for the New York group, you'd be forgiven for passing off Gay For Johnny Depp off as a mere comedic act. A closer listen however reveals some fantastic tracks. Gay For Johnny Depp were always a band that thrived in the grime and stale smoke of live shows and thankfully, on record they're just as captivating. Sure, it's sexual vitriol at its most overt but there's some deliciously scuzzy riffing as well as snazzy rhythms on show in this collection which spans their five year career to date. There are occasional let ups to break up the frenzy, two such choice cuts being 'Delirium Approached (Slut Dust)' which features a distinctly Rival Schools-aping chorus as well as the experimental effects whirl of 'I Hate Our Freedom (Fuck You Gladys, I'm on Vacation)'.

Whilst thirty-plus tracks may seem like a joke stretched too far for some, the fact that the majority of tracks run at under two minutes and vary in sound somewhat will negate any hint of boredom that may creep in. As well as ensuring that this reviewer has seen the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise in a whole new light, for those that are in on the joke, Manthology is an album to watch out for, revealing one of alternative music's best kept secrets.