‘Nocturnal Manoeuvres’ is the third album from London duo JOHN. It’s a name that makes the band hard to track down through usual means (try JOHN (TIMESTWO) if you’re struggling) but when you do find them you are rewarded with a breeze block of an album. The beautiful soundscape intro of ‘Return To Capital’ is promptly interrupted by the raging guitars of ‘Sibensko Powerhouse’.
The sound that JOHN produce is absolutely massive, it’s hard to beleive that they’re a duo. It’s anger and beauty wrapped in a wall of guitar, drums that sound like they’re being punished and vocals that are spat with venom. ‘A Song For Those That Speed in Built Up Areas’ continues the onslaught with its droning verse giving way to an upbeat rock chorus. Songs like ‘Jargoncutter’ and ‘Northwood Turret’ feel like a frontal assault with the furious guitar and battering drums. ‘Stadium of No’ feels a little more like garage rock but with everything turned up to 11 and the knobs broken off.
‘Nocturnal Manoeuvres’ is an absolute ride. It’s whirlwind guitars and powerful drums rarely let up but it’s not all noise, there are melodies and hooks here to make them accessible to those with a more sensitive palate. Do yourself a favour and put in the work to track down the awkwardly monikered JOHN, you will not be disappointed.