James Mellen
James Mellen

Bristol-based writer, specialising in musings on the world of music and fashion.

Label: Brace Yourself

Rating: 4 out of 5.

JOHN are a band with probably the most unassuming name ever. Comprised of Johnny Healey and John Newton, the pair combined deliver some of the loudest material being thrown around the UK punk circuit right now.

The limitations of being a duo never once prevent JOHN from creating walls of noise, earth-shaking rhythms and jam-packed tracks – with brand new record ‘A Life Diagrammatic’ being the band’s most well-rounded and assured to date.

‘A Life Diagrammatic’ is a guttural, explosive listening experience, the duality of every track a monument to their abilities not just as players and performers, but as songwriters also.

Opener ‘At Peacehaven’ is four-minutes of controlled chaos, the mellow breaks a brief rest stop between stacks of indistinct wailing leads and heavy riffs. The stark dynamic changes are a trait often missed by the band’s contemporaries, the variations in dynamic range the key to high energy, high intensity songs – something JOHN have nailed to a T.

Lead single ‘Trauma Mosaic’ is fuelled by crushing drums, almost-chanted vocals from Newton, a subtle callback to more old-school punk traditions. Across the project the pair rarely slow down, the baffling but undeniable expanse of a two-piece refreshing, alluring and completely enthralling.

JOHN, at their core, are primal, supercharged, the pair in a constant state of subtle evolution with every release. A Life Diagrammatic’ is multifaceted, rarely limiting itself to just ‘punk’.

Using genre terms is almost redundant here, the chameleon-liske nature of JOHN boasting an assortment of sonic territories, everything from garage rock to hardcore to ambient being fused together on this project.

The end result is frenetic, passionate and assured, the band removing any possible boundary standing in between them and their sonic objectives.

Listen to ‘A Life Diagrammatic’ here:

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