Within twelve months of their debut album, ‘01‘, the follow-up lands on my doormat entitled, yes you guessed it ‘02‘. Both are the works of Johnny Vic under the guise of Satellites. If you’re quick and order it from Rough Trade, you can receive a bonus disc ‘Saint Saviour’s’ Live Session‘. Well worth the money and like the first album it comes in some lavish packaging. Though don’t let that fool you that the product is of some sub-standard quality, far from it in fact.
A xylophone heralds in the opening number ‘Something Bigger‘, a song that gradually envelops your mind. The dead pan vocals of Johnny state “Something unpredictable has just walked into the room” which mirrors the album perfectly. The percussion near the end of this 6.49 minute song is a joy to behold too. Being a multi-instrumentalist Mr. Vic displays his guitar playing skills to a tee on ‘Neon Sun‘. Radio friendly and surely destined to be a single type of song that could have been recorded by the likes of New Order. With choral vocals ‘This Is All The There Is‘ slows down the pace again, very melodic and calming.
Based in Copenhagen we have references throughout this album to his previous place of residence over the big pond, ‘God Bless America‘, is a prime example and evokes that catchy Yankee doodle dandy feel to it. The acoustic sounding ‘Ghosts Of A Memory‘ highlights the talent of the songwriter, who for some reason has yet to capture the imagination of the vast majority of the general public, time will tell. ‘World At Your Feet‘ continues this laid back theme. On listening to this I fathomed out that his vocals reminded me of the late Frank Tovey, another maverick.
Returning to the rocky side of the record ‘Madison Park Bell‘ lifts you from the slumber. “I’ve never known anything like it before” he belts out repeatedly, well I have from a former group of his, Budapest. It’s good to trawl your past for your future, isn’t it? The first thing that strikes you on ‘Bone Trophy‘ is the Talking Heads‘ ‘Once In A Lifetime‘ riff at the beginning. If you’re going to plagiarise something why not something as cool as that. As the upbeat song develops Johnny turns it into his own sound. ‘Beg Steal & Borrow‘ is a dreamy track that waltzes us around our minds, kept on track with a distinct acoustic guitar and even a recorder.
Already gaining airplay ‘Wasteland‘ is the lead track of this album and you can hear why. This song for me fills me with hope which actually mirrors my current life. From the ashes new beginnings emerge even from the darkest depths. ‘Hourglass‘ slows things down again as the sands of time show us it’s almost all over on listening to this luxurious of albums. Building on from the previous outing this can only help push the name Satellites forward. A musicians album for those who appreciate good music. 9/10 something to make you think.