You’re not in the mood for Tim Hortons but there you are, debating the merits of adding a hashbrown to your daily double-double-and-a-sausage-breakfast-sandwich routine. It’s a mundane aspect of Canadian life that doesn’t seem fit for songcraft, but no unremarkable topic is off limits for goofy Hamilton folk-rocker BA Johnston.
Being forced to move to Windsor, blowing GST cheques at the Pizza Hut lunch buffet, and advising Luke Skywalker to join ancestry.com are all covered in Mission Accomplished. The album cover, which features a shirtless Johnston riding a tiger as a vanquished Toronto burns in the distance, sets the tone for a collection of absurd but earnestly written songs. While song titles like “Crushing Coke Cans, Counting Dead Raccoons” and “I Feel Like Wesley Snipes” may make you question whether this album is worth the next 35 minutes of your life, Johnston’s lyrics are surprisingly honest and relatable. Johnston balances the dumber tracks with songs that give a lighthearted glimpse into the dishwashing, cat-sitting underbelly of Canadian society.
While the music is nothing special, it gets the job done. Johnston’s acoustic strum-alongs, broken up by the occasional retro electronic head banger, serve the purpose of carrying his lyrics without being noticeably bad. Setting the bar low and exceeding expectations seems to be the game plan for Johnston, who, according to the album’s press release, lives with his parents and is releasing this album to avoid having to take a job at Foodland.
Overall, Mission Accomplishedis a pleasant surprise that will keep you entertained and sleeping well at night knowing that at least one artist is documenting the benefits of keeping your Coors Light cold certified.