Unca John’s high octane classic rocker ‘Replaced By Robot’ sounds like a modernized version of The Beatles singing in an electrifying manner about robots taking over humanity. Refreshing, novel, and immediately appealing.

The Baltimore, Maryland-based singer, and songwriter Unca John seems to be declaring etelove for cowbells with his latest, jangly single. The economics professor confesses that his charisma and fashion sense are matched only by his singing prowess and by his piano and guitar playing skills… he can’t play either (he rocks the sax and the clarinet, though. Which are obviously superior instruments). The humorous, self-depreciating description did not prepare me in the slightest for the raspy goodness that is available in droves on ‘Replaced by Robots’. 

Simplistic and borderline primitive, the song starts by a fuzzed-to-oblivion start-stop guitar riff that sounded intrusively compressed that I legit thought the song had a cataclysmic production error. But no, the arrangement soon follows and the lush harmonies both prove that there is a bit of genius in Unca John, and that he lied about his singing prowess. The witty lyrics are matched by a quite spectacular composition that’s pure The Who meets The Beatles. The drums in particular are smashing. The banging is loud, the groove is tight-yet-floozy, the sound is boomy, and the performance is injecting with enough charisma to make Keith Moon giggle in admiration.

The self-described “kitchen table rock” from the jazz band nerd has an immediately catchy vibe that will find you in no time glancing past Unca John meagre charisma and absent fashion sense. Paying attention instead to his talent in writing a rocking riff and a stirring harmony part.