JOHN: The Rock Gods’ New Album, Nocturnal Manoeuvres Is Out Now!
JOHN — the virtually ungoogleable moniker for London duo John Newton (drums, lead vocals) and Johnny Healey (guitar, backing vocals) – release their long-awaited third album, Nocturnal Manoeuvres, via the band’s own Pets Care imprint and Brace Yourself Records.
Across ten tracks, it finds the duo expanding upon their celebrated idiosyncrasies once more. It sees them returning to their trusted producer Wayne Adams (who was behind the boards for both of their previous albums), knowing his success in capturing their presence as a live band. Realising the expansive quality of the resulting recordings, they then enlisted mastering engineer Sarah Register (Protomartyr, Future Islands, Chastity Belt) to deliver the sense of space that the varied track-list deserved. The result is a colossal body of work that moves effortlessly between cinematic post-rock, elastic post-hardcore and pummeling noise rock.
Earlier this week, the band shared the album’s final pre-release single: the frenetic, impressively angular ‘Stadium of No’ – all sharp riffs, overdriven interludes and soaring choruses, packed into a tight, sub-three-minute runtime. It came alongside an excellent video directed by Henry Dartnall and Thomas Bonsu-Dartnall (aka The House of Lords) of Young Knives fame, which finds the duo acting on behalf of JOHN.
Speaking of the track and its relationship to Nocturnal Manoeuvres as a whole, Newton offers: “In parallel to the recurring motif of twenty-four hour work that runs throughout the album’s track listing, stadiums appear as hopelessly redundant monuments when they’re empty – only activated by the bodies that inhabit them. The song’s a nod to the often-overwhelming conditions of our present: a stadium-like crowd of opinions trying to shout on top of one another.”
“There’s a real mechanical quality to the instrumentation in the song – it’s almost got shades of Devo in there. I feel there’s an interesting contradiction between the human strive for metronomic perfection and the reality of our biology. There’s simply no way we can be flawless when our bodies are in constant change,” adds Healey.
Nocturnal Manoeuvres is the follow-up to their second LP, 2019’s Out Here On The Fringes, which catapulted them into the Top 40 of the UK Independent Vinyl Chart, was featured as an Album of the Day on BBC 6Music with three successive playlisted singles, and saw the band hit the road with the likes of METZ and Mclusky.
Following recent festival appearances, including Green Man and End of the Road, the band is currently on a mammoth tour of the UK before hitting the continent in 2022. As venues continue to reopen, it offers a captivating chance to catch a band who’ve built a devoted following through the sheer energy of their live show: a celebration of the primal intensity of the guitar-drums duo as a format and a monument to idiosyncrasy, which is precisely the sort of manifesto you could attach to Nocturnal Manoeuvres as a whole.
Oct 8th | Belfast, UK – Ulster Sports Club
Oct 10th | Glasgow, UK – Stereo
Oct 11th | Edinburgh, UK – Sneaky Pete’s
Oct 12th | Stockton, UK – The Georgian Theatre
Oct 13th | Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
Oct 14th | Manchester, UK – YES
Oct 14th-17th | Norwich, UK – Wild Paths festival*
Oct 16th | Reading, UK – Face Bar
Oct 17th | Bristol, UK – Thekla
Oct 19th | Oxford, UK – The Bullingdon
Oct 20th | Brighton, UK – Patterns
Oct 21st | Southampton, UK – The Loft
Oct 22nd | London, UK – Moth Club
May 13th | London, UK – Electric Ballroom#* = day to be announced
# = supporting Mclusky2022 EU Tour Dates:
Mar 11th | Paris, FR – Le Point Ephemere
Mar 12th | Lille, FR – L’Aeronef
Mar 13th | Cologne, DE – MTC
Mar 15th | Amsterdam, NL – Paradiso (Upstairs)
Mar 16th | Brussels, BE – AB Club
Mar 17th | Rotterdam, NL – Ro’town
Mar 18th | Hamburg, DE – HeadCrash
Mar 19th | Copenhagen, DK – Loppen
Mar 21st | Poznan, PL – Pod Minoga
Mar 22nd | Warsaw, PL – Poglos
Mar 23rd | Vienna, AT – Flexcafe
Mar 25th | Bologna, IT – Covo Club
Mar 26th | Milan, IT – Biko
Mar 27th | Zurich, CH – Rote Fabrik
Mar 29th | Bern, CH – ISC
Mar 30th | Munich, DE – Feierwerk
Apr 1st | Prague, CZ – Cross Club
Apr 2nd | Berlin, DE – Cassiopeia
Apr 20th | Dublin, IE – Whelan’s (Upstairs)
Apr 29th | Lisbon, PT – Time Out Market
Apr 30th | Porto, PT – Hard Club (Sala 2)