B.A. Johnston My Heart is a Blinking Nintendo

As far as novelty rockers go, B.A. Johnson isn’t breaking any new ground here. In fact, his brand of stoned slacker college rock almost seems dated, harkening back to the home-rock boom of the mid-’90s. In a live setting, B.A. is more spectacle than substance, crooning about deep fryers, animals, and being hung over to played-out synthesiser bleeps and beats with the wit of a fifth-string Bruce McCulloch. Most of these stream-of-consciousness songs aren’t really worth revisiting because their faux frustration fizzles out. The surprise here then is that Johnson has got some real soul up his sleeve. Songs like "I Love it When You Dress Up,” "Have Fun on Warp Tour,” "And My Tears Shall Do the Dishes,” and the title track all mix earnestness with a comic edge. Johnson’s at his best when his brooding is meaningful or injects the mundane with something heavy. It’s too bad he’s so attached to his drunken buffoon schtick; occasionally he reveals some real heart. (Just Friends)