Jonny Sonic
"Coop Resident"

(HandPicked Entertainment 2005)Jonny Sonic - Coop Resident

Blending The Gorillaz with The Prodigy and adding a touch of Outkast, three of today's most notable bands, Jonny Sonic's "Coop Resident" is unpredictable throughout. Assuming the Jonny Sonic pseudonym, Seattle musician Rick Kowal is the man in control. Fusing quick drum and bass and trip hop excerpts with rich horn sections, "Coop Resident" is not your typical run of the mill version of everyday hip hop.

With a group sing along and horns flaring, tracks like "Cue," "Sore" and "Steaks" are big and dramatic, hinting at jazz, big band and funk tones as the variety of sounds come together. Jonny Sonic comes across strongly with hard hitting tracks like "Bourbon Sass" and the infectious chanting and thumping melody of "Pesos y Euros," hip hop bleeds into speeding electronic rhythms as rough vocals cut through with their rhymes. Kowal delivers solemnly in the role of a law enforcement officer on the dark chiming rhythm of "Identification Card (Vienna)." Like night and day, Kowal opts for a much lighter sound on "Dumb Day," "Coop Resident" and the Talking Head's "Once in a Lifetime (sic)," choosing to let the digital effects take control of the music and its flow.

With some memorable moments that will surely set you dancing -- be it in a club, your car, or in your bedroom -- Jonny Sonic takes some interesting chances with "Coop Resident." While his experimentation and lack of predictability should be applauded, "Coop Resident" is clunky at times and unprepared at others. Jonny Sonic's "Coop Resident" is a shaky attempt but keeps you interested and gives you a taste of what is to come.

C+