An easy description of JOHN might start with comparisons to their contemporaries. Bands like Idles or Shame are a good start. All the groups hailing from the UK, taking their sounds from 80s hardcore, post-hardcore, and a number of other punk sub genres. However, this description just doesn’t do the band justice.

JOHN are something in their own league. As a two piece they easily provide an even more muscular, intense sound than anyone else. Their hypnotic style is infectious and brilliant and totally unique. Not to mention the singing drummer.

Nocturnal Manoeuvres is the band’s third record and easily their most locked in performance. The droning opener “Return to Capital” lulls the record to a start building tension that quickly breaks with “Sibensko Powerhouse”, a fiery anthem of punk brilliance. From there tracks are rocketed at a souped up pace.

“Stadium of No” is an angular masterpiece, playing like a hyper fueled, 21st century response to Fugazi. The closer “Non-essential Hymn” is a chaotic flurry of drum rolls and thick guitars that ends the record on a high note.

This record bludgeons the listener into submission. There’s no room to wander off. From the get-go the band captures your attention and it’s pretty much impossible to turn away. The LP captures a uniquely refined sound that truly is original, at least in the world of punk. It’s a testament to creativity and sheer will. There’s really nothing in the world that could convince me not give this album a try.

Nocturnal Manoeuvres is out on Brace Yourself/Pet Care Records.

Find out more about JOHN here. 

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