The Johnny Red Eyes
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The Johnny Red Eyes

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Punk




"Rockin’ bands to watch for in the lesser-known NXNE lineup"

Influenced by punk, hardcore, indie, ska, and rock, this band promises an energetic and entertaining show. They “like to play energetic shows for energetic crowds, moshing, and having fun onstage,” and from the sounds of their great, upbeat tracks the crowd will not be left unsatisfied. - Canculture


So Wednesday I interviewed The Johnny Red Eyes out in High Park. The Johnny Red Eyes are a punk rock quartet from Etobicoke and they play a relentless style of music that's both energetic and engaging. During the interview, I got to chat with Brian Steels (lead vocals/rhythm guitar) and Robert Parkinson (bass/backing vocals) about an array of things including - their formation, their upcoming NXNE show at the Detour Bar Saturday and the chicks exercising around us in the park. We also talked about the hidden talents of their drummer, the dying art form that is noise rock music and how their wheelchair-bound lead guitarist managed to break his foot. All-in-all we had a pretty interesting conversation.

This two-part presentation also features their new single Cops (are after my Crops) and another new track called Red Eyes, White Collar. Not to mention we threw in TWO! of their older tracks 22 and Counting and Fuck Astar. It's music galore. Lots of music and lots of talking are in store. - THE BLANKET REVIEWER

"Planet Danger EP: A Review"

JUST A QUICK WORD before I begin: The Planet Danger EP actually came out October 2012 and I was asked to review it then, but I had writers block, the scoots and my lupus was acting up pretty bad. A little vulture told me they had two more EPs coming out soon so I decided I should finally get off my lazy ass, sit back down and write this damn thing. So I present to you, eons late, this review.



Not so recently, but still not that long ago (get off my back, ERIC) my friends The Johnny Red Eyes released their first EP entitled Planet Danger. Naturally, having at least more disposable income than most 6 year olds (it sells online for whatever you want to pay, 5$ in hardcopy), I bought the first copy and have decided to review it here because I felt like it and you can go to hell for being so nosy. Who are you, anyway? Punk.

I guess the first impression starts on the outside. They say you can’t judge an album by it’s cover but in this case it was a pretty good indicator of things to come. Though it looked suspiciously similar to their earlier demo, No Pie, its colours were eye-catching, and begged you to try and determine just what the fuck it was. A tree? Is that a dude in the left foreground? With a weird hat, I guess. Is that a hidden message in the middle in pink? I thought that maybe there were more clues inside…

Nope, just some cool-ass photos overlayed with lyrics stylized in a way that reminds me heavily of some Green Day or Sex Pistols album I can’t for the life of me remember. Whichever band is cooler I guess. You’d think it would be Sex Pistols but I’m having second thoughts after seeing Johnny Rotten get yelled at by Judge Judy.

Anyhoo, I suppose I should actually talk about the music. There are only three tracks so I suppose I can talk about each individually.

We begin with a song called Puking Blood which, holy shit…fuck. That’s brutal. But instead being the METUL or pure punk track I would have expected from the name I was treated to something more reminiscent of the Dropkick Murphys or the Dead Kennedies. It has a very rowdy spirit within it, and its slightly vulgar lyrics about having an epic night of partying makes for one fuckin’ lively song. It’s a party song that manages to not be vapid and useless, and totally gets me pumped. Totally. It’s about having a good time, and it reeks of booze and pure fun. Whatever incident that song was written about must have been quite a memorable one.

It begins off the album right, with a somewhat slow, rhythmic intro that pulls you right into the song until it quickly jumps off Subtlety Cliff and screams right into the meat of it.

Then, it slows back down a bit transitioning smoothly right into the EPs second track, Fuck Astar. The ambient guitar makes it feel a little spacey to begin with but then the drums come pumping in and picks it right back up in intensity after the artfully placed break between tracks. This song is considerably harder, with beefier guitar and rougher voices all leading into a pretty inspired breakdown and then bridge that makes what could be a pretty repetitive song into something quite dynamic. It ends off with the by now well-known refrain, that puts a cap back on that bottle of awesome.

The next track, Crude Drawings Of A Bleak Future, begins humbly with some “warmup” before the song. It isn’t as hard going or fast paced as the first two tracks but is no harder to rock out to. It features some great vocal work that hadn’t yet been showcased previously on this album. This song goes into what I can only think of as a reverse-breakdown, where it gives you a refreshing dose of that sweet, sweet intensity you had come to expect and love at this point. They plateau here, keeping it up til the end where they finish off strong with instrumentals that really give the feeling that they are putting their all into it.

Well, that’s about all for this EP. I hope this review was informative, sexy and BONUS TRACK.

You gotta understand, I LOVE bonus tracks. 22 And Counting provides a satisfying denouement to the listening experience. It’s an acoustic piece that very succinctly expresses the writers feelings on a variety of subjects pertaining to the world and its inhabitants in a way that can only be described as sweetly vulgar. It uses the word fuck, a lot. Like three times a sentence. I love the word fuck, maybe even more than I love bonus tracks. FUCK YEAH. Oh, and it mentions eye-jizz.

As a whole, the music of The Johnny Red Eyes seems to me to be a mix of the musical sensibilities of Queens of the Stone Age with the rhythmic intricacy of Death From Above 1979. Their songs are multi-layered, dynamic, intense and full of leg-jiggling goodness. Lyrically, they blend vulgar, somewhat inane and silly messages with something a lot more meaningful and thought out than it would seem at first glance.

At first I bought this EP in support of my friends who very earnestly have been working on some pretty k - Plight of White

"Bucketlist MoonMasters Album Review"

Even before I sunk my ears into Moon Masters by The Johnny Red Eyes, I felt I could dig it just based on some of the song titles… how does one not get titillated by titles such as “Pigs n’ Panties?!” I mean, c’mon, that’s gold. I also confess that it took me awhile to write the review because I’d just get into listening to it, and it’d slip my mind by album’s end.

As I hit play, I felt like I was in a spaceship with blips and sounds of the intro: “I Never Thought Reality Offended” – another title I really dug as an avid critical thinker. Then, bam! Launched into a wormhole full throttle with the aforementioned “Pigs n’ Panties,” I realized coffee’s overrated, and I was brought back to my skateboarding punk music-infused days. The urge to grab my deck and some beer was overwhelming me.

After the short but sweet “Enter the Basement,” I entered the track “All 10 Inches of Ricardio” – this one I REALLY dug, may be a bit to do with being single too long, but I’m going with the ska vibe that reminds me a touch of Sublime, but then threw me off a bit with an instrumental interlude about 1:30 in…it kind of went all over the place, from blips to finding my head bobbing at the gradual catchy riffs, almost like diving into 70’s rock. Really cool transitions.

Continuing on, “Vincent Vegas” has more of said cool transitions, as a huge Mr.Bungle fan, I’m drawn to my brain being tugged by the unexpected, albeit these cats aren’t as out there in comparison, but worth checking out if you appreciate the random thing. I’m finding it hard to hammer down a general vibe of this album, and that’s a good thing in my books.

I really dug the instrumental “Zynphar’s Revenge,” kinda sounds like if Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Pelican, and some space aliens came together for a jam. Skipping ahead to the track, I feel the same way about “Disco,” as I do about “Herpes” (which I wholeheartedly agree with, and again, love these titles!), diggin’ the vocal style and “messiness” of it all, I guess if you went to a disco and got herpes, this would be the title track for it.

Finally, we have “Bees,” an end that ties into the beginning and leaves me wanting to discover more by these guys, will definitely be keeping my eyes open for them playing live given the energy I felt through my speakers! These cats are tight, having been around since 2010 and evidently have a mystery drummer who will remain unknown…I appreciate the added mystery, thanks guys, haha! Check out their Bandcamp page too.

Alternatively, if you’re more the visual type they have some fun stuff up on their YouTube channel, personally lovin’ the space-related stuff, oh yeah! I leave you with their official video for Vincent Vegas, it’s a fun watch, check it out.

Now, if you excuse me, I need to tune-up my skateboard. - Bucketlist Music Reviews


  • MoonMasters (June 27 2014)
  • Enter Vincent's Basement (May 2 2014)
  • No Pie EP (June 14 2013)
  • Planet Danger EP (July 19 2012)
  • The "No Pie" demos (March 13 2012)



Early formations began playing punk/ska at shows in and around Toronto. But after a line up change and a trip to Halifax, the band's sound matured, writing an interesting collection of tracks filled with interesting time signatures, strange progressions & genre-bending movements, while self producing all of their musical releases. 

Since then, the band has been an official band of Canadian Music Week, North by North East, and Harvesting the F. A. M. They have released two EP's, opened for The Johnstones, been a featured artist on Your Way Records, they have earned themselves a top spot in Protest the Hero's Music City Toronto search, and released their first ever full length album "MoonMasters" in June 2014. The Johnny Red Eyes are currently developing an untitled concept album to be released in 2015. 

Band Members