From the Vault...


Johnny Philko
"Exit From Babylon"

© Kunaki LLC Records

Year of Release: 2003

track listing
  • Big Brother
    Is Watching You
  • Secrets
  • Isn't It A Pity
  • It's Time For A Change
  • In Spite Of You
  • Painted Window
  • Jessica
  • Sweet Mother Earth
  • If I Had A
    Rocket Launcher
  • Peace Prayer
  • On My Way To Houston

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Johnny Philko related sites:
    Johnny Philko Website

    No page on Wikipedia
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    Johnny Philko
    "Exit From Babylon"

    Last week, Genie, a member of the WSVNRadio Hall of Fame was our Album Pick of the Week. This week is another look at another WSVNRadio Hall of Famer, this one from Volume 22, the band Johnny Philko. (Note: This is the name of the band, so it is alphabetized under the letter "J" since there isn't an actual person named Johnny Philko. Another example of this is Jethro Tull.)

    Johnny Philko is a band, not a guy. Their sound is authentic. It's different, and unique. So unique, that is a sound of not only Alternative Rock, but a sound that is also different than most other Alternative Rock bands. Their music is quite attentive. Their vocals are also distinctive. On some of the songs from Exit From Babylon, I'm trying to compare to other vocalists. Maybe Frank Zappa on some, but I just can't put an official comparative name on it.

    Exit From Babylon is one of those albums that gets your attention, from start to finish. Every song is good. Sure, some are beter than others, but as a whole, this is an album that will achieve many positive reviews, and multiple listens.

    They are best decscribed by Patriot News: "Johnny Philko is a rock band specializing in music with a message. Their music is politically aware and socially responsible. Their songs speak of social and political issues, couched in the music of the common man, rock and roll, expressed in a variety of styles from acoustic to falt out real stuff rock."

    Johnny Philko is Mike and Kris Kinkead, Jack Davis, and David Sanderson. They formed in Cleveland, Ohio. Their common "dues" are reflected in their music.

    "Big Brother Is Watching You" was selected for the WSVNRadio Hall of Fame, Volume 22 compilation. This song leads off Exit From Babylon, with a force, and keeps the listener eagerly awaiting for the next track, and beyond. The bass line rhythms are simply great on the next track, "Secrets." Then, we have a remake of a solo George Harrison classic, "Isn't It A Pity." And, you have to admit, the "Nah-Nah-Nah's" from The Beatles' "Hey Jude" at the end of this song also makes it a great cover.

    As mentioned, Johnny Philko vocals are a standout. This is the case on "It's Time For A Change." The vocals here makes the song, with it's unique style, and the band's sound. "In Spite Of You" is another good Alternative Rock track, likewise "Painted Window" it's mellowish, sounding like Pearl Jam in a way. "Jessica" is more of a smooth sailing Rock instrumental.

    Probably the only "least favorite" track would be "Sweet Mother Earth." This track isn't bad, it's just one of those songs that quite isn't as determined as the many others. Another remake, Bruce Cockburn's "If I Had A Rocket Launcher" is another good track; yet as I listen to it, I can't help but wait to hear another Classic Rock to mix in with this one -- "All Along The Watchtower."

    "Peace Prayer" is a calm and mellow track, and it's nice at the end with the spoken voice, sounding like Shaun Mullins from his hit, Rockabye." (Again, I give credit to the lead vocalist again here, just as in "It's Time For A Change." The Zappa-ish (?) "On My Way To Houston" ends the album, as Frank Zappa is only one artist that I can most likely compare this band to. And you have to admit, Zappa was different and unique himself, and being compared to the genius Zappa would have to be a great complimnent for Johnny Philko.

    So here they are, Johnny Philko. A band that you probably have never heard, but you should. This is one of those discovery bands, that you often wonder how they didn't get any other recognition to the higher-ups of the music business, especially in today's Alternative Rock popular bands and artists. Exit From Babylon could easily become a classic, given a chance. They provide a message, and their reviews page on their website is fascinating to read. And after hearing their music, their reviews do make sense. Johnny Philko is a great band. Johnny Philko is a band, not a guy. Check out their music, and you will agree, their sound is a distinctively worth mentioning, and referring to other Rock fans.

    You can check out more information about Johnny Philko, at their main website at, their ReverbNation site, and on their myspace site.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Kunaki LLC Records and is used for reference purposes only.

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    Barbra Streisand--Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits