The Johnstones Suck

The JohnstonesSuck
The Johnstones have morphed into all-out pop media moguls, so it's hardly a surprise that a busy year ends with a new album from the punk/ska sextet. Say what you will about the merits of mainstream pop punk, but the Johnstones ace it. When it comes to branding, they bought the T-shirt and the matching sweater. Suck showcases a more technical direction from the band, particularly in vocalist Ryan Long's range and lyrics. "Jennifer's Jacket" is pure formulaic pop-punk, while "Bottom of the Ocean" goes back to their trademark ska-infused style. Gang vocals, hip-hop fusion and harmonies keep the album light and fun. Jokes within songs and a closing track consisting of a prank phone call to a restaurant leave you laughing. Since their inception, the boys have been making a name for themselves as a group of media troublemakers. A Justin Bieber riot during the Toronto G20 conference, an interactive online show garnering over 5,000 subscribers, upwards of five-million views on MySpace and YouTube, their annual "Yellow Snow Tour" and now a reality TV series (Crown the Town with Ryan Long) solidify them as Ontario's — no, Canada's sweethearts. (Union)