First you couldn’t avoid the articles calling this a continuation of the IDLES wave, now you can’t avoid the articles pointing out that you can’t avoid it. Where does that leave us? Somewhere within a mundanity complex that Crystal Palace two-piece JOHN (comprising a drummer/vocalist and guitarist both called John) benefit from highly. Repetition and concision is a currency underused in the outwardly literate punk class of twenty-nineteen, but Out Here On The Fringes takes political brevity hostage with a new and acute ferocity.
Self-described as an idiosyncratic view of the everyday, the title track lures you into a danceable riff and steady kick drum, before a thrashing multi-track assault on austerity society and leisure living cripples any counter-narrative, with a refrain about bodies lying outside Tesco. Brutalizing post-hardcore jam ‘Dog Walker’ praises our use of anti-plastic plastic bags to save the world with a sharp acerbic bite – “we’re so pragmatic!” hits with the best of Fucked Up’s caustic growl – while ‘Laszlo’ is veritable sludge-rock with a delectably muted outro, leading into the ambient cinema-vérité lulls of ‘Midnight Supermarket’, a dreamlike outlier jabbing at consumerism’s thrall.
Like a horror film that builds its suspense through the absence of an image – the Babadook was terrifying until you faced its wonky papier-mâché smile – JOHN’s second album teases the storm coming from a mile away. Clocking in at just over 26 minutes, these songs are the dark clouds moving quickly overhead, and the protracted silence at the end is still fettered with the bruised disorientation of a circle pit.
Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines
As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.
Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.
If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.
It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.