There’s a common misconception that the more members a band has, the louder and greater the respective output. Sure, artists such as Slipknot, Rammstein and Godspeed You! Black Emperor are certainly capable of producing quite the racket. But sometimes all you need is two people, a battered drum kit, a trusty guitar and a shared sense of creativity and integrity. Cassels have proved this. Cultdreams have proved this. Haggard Cat have proved this. John are also proving this.
For those not in the know, John consists of two members. One member is called John. The other member is also called John. During the day, John works as a decorater, whilst the other John works as a chef. However, during the evening they amalgamate, fusing together to become a beast, one that’s composed of rusted metal, warped plastic, splintered wood, flailing limbs and gnashing teeth.
Hailing from the urbanite streets of London’s Crystal Palace, John are undeniably the product of the dull and dystopian future that we as a society are on the cusp of entering. Blunt, deadpan and brusque, John deliver the sound of strident postmodern punk at it’s most corrosive. Following their formation, the duo become a formidable and lauded outfit within the underbelly of the live DIY scene. Snarling, confrontational and initially jarringly intimate, the output the duo deliver is an authentic account of the mundanity of modern life.
Following a string of appraised EP’s and singles, the duo released their debut full length God Speed In The National Limit in the fall of 2017. Released by Pets Care Records, God Speed is just over 20 minutes of taurine fuelled punk, a volcanic slab of DIY sensibilities that mirrored the countenance and pace of the jet powered vehicle that almost put Richard Hammond in a coffin in 2006. A record of great cultural importance, one that resonated the idiosyncratic cynicism required to live in this age, the debut swiftly became the subject of praise from acts such as Idles, The Saint Pierre Snake Invasion, USA Nails and Metz, a selection of musical outfits that parallel the intensity and authenticity that John harbour.
It may have been approximately two years since the release of that aforementioned record, but John are back in the limelight, more energised and cynical than ever before. Just this week the collective released ‘Future Thinker’, the first single from their upcoming sophomore record Out Here On The Fringes. Drenched in distortion and with the texture of pebbledash, the track’s an uncomfortably claustrophobic documentation of our shared desperate search for nostalgia in a vein attempt at escapism. Beneath the sonic gravel of this track lies a message articulated with precision and brutalist poetry. Such is the nature of John; they are educated, experienced and are in the possession of the skills required to animate their message through grating and corrosive punk expressionism.
John will be playing a string of shows this summer, with the group playing their single launch show at the London Lexington on the 29th of May before playing at 2000 Trees and Farmfest later in the summer. For time being check out the video for ‘Future Thinker’ below.