Album review: Stuttering John, Stuttering John (1994)


By Steve Newton

According to Stuttering John’s bio, lead vocalist John Melendez is “known to millions in North America as the fearless interviewer on Howard Stern’s mega-popular radio show.”

I’d never heard of the guy myself, but supposedly his go-for-the-throat interviews have resulted in him being punched by Raquel Welch and Morton Downey, choked by Lou Reed, and thrown out of the Grammy Awards celebrations, so he must be doing a pretty good job.

All I know is that his band’s self-titled release could well be the finest hard-rock debut of ’94.

Melendez co-wrote most of Stuttering John‘s 13 tracks with producer Randy Cantor, and there’s not a clunker in the bunch. Whether waxing unpoetic about his desire to end one relationship (“Get Off My Lawn”) or trying to weasel his way around another (“ll Talk My Way Out of It”), Melendez displays the same ballsy attitude it takes to ask famous strangers embarrassing questions.

Musically, Stuttering John follows the same Aerosmith-influenced path as Guns N’ Roses and, like both those bands, has the ability to produce fine ballads amidst the rockin’ stuff.

From the sound of things, Melendez should leave shock radio in Sten’s capable hands and take up music full-time.

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