|© J. Adrian Wylie|
by Chris Berggren
The Jehovah's Witness Protection Program has a great band name--and knows how to have a good time. The Ypsilanti duo, featuring Anthony Anonymous on guitar and vocals and Jehan Dough on drums (those are their "protection program" surnames--they were born Gentile and Burki), play a filthy hard-rock style that borrows from punk and metal in both sound and attitude. Anthony's guitar work is fast and rough, and he makes use of foot pedals to create riff loops to either play over top of or take a break from playing all together. Jehan, meanwhile, does little more than beat the crap out of his drum kit with wild but astute ferocity. That's the band in a gist, but a JWPP show is much more involved.
They take the stage at Woodruff's with beers in hand. It's been a long night of music, and the JWPP's set is starting after midnight. Before any music is played, a shot arrives for Anthony. "I don't want to do it by myself," he mumbles to no one in particular, before turning to the audience and asking, "Who wants to go buy a shot and do it with me?" He asks several more times, until finally a shot partner materializes and the alcohol is deposited. JWPP then jumps into a fast-paced punkish song that involves the lyric "I want to fight," which eventually breaks down to Anthony just yelling "Fight!" while pumping his fist into the air. The effect is immediate. The crowd loves it, and wild dancing ensues.
The second song sounds like some sort of mixture of psychedelic grunge and punk with humor. Anthony sings a lyric comparing eyes to lasers, his own eyes bugging out of a face that appears to be a strange cross between Jerry Garcia and Charles Manson. His guitar riff has been looped, and he eventually puts the guitar down to concentrate fully on his screeching vocals. After the song, he takes another shot (this time he
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