Nobody could have predicted John Ford, nor were they expected to. In just under three years and at a combined height of 291 inches, John Ford tower over many of their Rock n' Roll peers, and outnumber many Power Trios by one.
Conceived in the basement of a house in East Vancouver, they constitute the classic garage rock tale; a Cinderella story at deafening volume marked by stupidity, defeat, agony, loss and worst of all, touring Canada. It's on this road that their epic tale takes flight, and some years and broken bones down the line we arrive here.
Their sophomore release, Bullets For Dreamers (via The Bumstead Recording Company) is a black and white snapshot of musing around the band's collective mind. And believe me, they have a no-holds-barred policy about telling you. Never let it be said that the music of John Ford is unsubtle, for there is subtext and a multiplicity of interpretation living beneath those sheets of guitar and cranked-up tempos. One might assume a political intent behind the lyrics from the title track and first single Bullets for Dreamers, with its allusions to "black gold", "catching signals from the Southeast Asians", bomb-blasted Media outlets and the feverish image of "rockets falling on a sold-out stadium". But ask the members of John Ford what they mean by all of this and they will grin at you like demented baboons while they absently spill beer on their pants (if they remembered to put them back on). So they work on two levels, you see...such is the puckish nature of their song.
With song titles ranging from Freedom Train, Ass, Gass, Grass, All Fake and Armagideon Time, it's obvious that this is not the album to put on at a quiet dinner party with the in-laws or if you're craving candy-ass pop. This is the music to become moved by, to find your drive. It's the album that instantly gets you to reach for the volume knob and crank it.
There is a vortex of irrational behavior around John Ford's live show that moved one reviewer to proclaim, "it was like a cross between the Yardbirds, the MC5 and a Boeing 767 in take-off mode..."
It's no coincidence that they won CMW's 2001 Best Unsigned Band of the Year Award. John Ford once again spent the better part of last year touring the country several times over in support of their independent self-titled release. They toured with a diverse group of acts including Andre Williams, The Fireballs Of Freedom, Son Volt, Zen Guerilla, Big Sugar and The Tragically Hip but always found time to headline sold-out shows in their hometown of Vancouver.
An opening slot for Big Sugar led to the most recent advances in their accelerating career. Big Sugar's Gordie Johnson was so impressed with the band's blistering live show that he took it upon himself to fly to Vancouver and produce four songs for the band. Within a few weeks, the band was in Toronto and Gordie Johnson was at the controls producing their upcoming release, "Bullets For Dreamers".
Bullets For Dreamers