The Phantom Tollbooth
 
Life with Jim H.
Artist:  Looking Jonny?
Label:  Rodent Rocket Records
Length: 63.36 / 17 tracks (plus 1 hidden)

Looking Jonny? is fast, pounding, alternative punk. A trio of screaming evangelists, the message is delivered right up front, in your face, with a sense of humor. The boys share their faith like any on-fire new convert should. I have no idea how long these guys have been walking with the Lord, but from what I know of them by listening to the record, they are flaming evangelists who love God and don't care who knows it. Everyone of these eigthteen songs (one hidden track) give some kind of testimony to God's greatness. The CD book explains the theme: hanging with your friends is cool but they change from day to day. Real joy, peace, and hope in your life takes Life with Jim H.,
which stands for "Life with Jesus in My Heart."

The record opens with a pretty good impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger telling the central character, Looking Jonny, that what he is looking for is Jesus Christ. Shifting his attention, the impersonator says that maybe its really you, listening to this record, that is need of Him. The first song comes crashing in, "Whatever," asking the musical question, "Do you love Him today?" Fast drums and guitar push the yelling vocals on, to hammer the message of  these songs into the searching heart.

If sloppy production is going to bug you, pass on this one. The CD sounds like it was recorded in one of the guys garages with a mike sitting in the middle of the floor. Its got a very "live" feel and sound, which is OK for Looking Jonny. Sometimes I like the sloppiness of a poorly recorded punk record, although I would never tolerate it on a more CCM type of record. The songs are cool, fast, live, and fun. And the impressions of Arnold (he finishes up the record singing Elvis' "Love Me Tender") should not be missed.

By Tony LaFianza (9/22/98)