JOHN (photo by Paul Grace)
We here at FTA have been long time fans of the London based JOHN, the grungy punk duo of John Newton (lead vocals/drums) and Johnny Healey guitar/backing vocals). They have been mentioned in our Bandcamp Friday picks more than once, made our recent favorite two piece bands list and are always in heavy rotation at FTA headquarters, particularly 2019’s Out Here on the Fringes. They have toured extensively in the UK and Europe with the likes of some of our favorites— IDLES, Metz, and Mclusky— and I know I definitely have been anxiously awaiting my own chance to see them live over on this side of the Atlantic.
So you can imagine I was thrilled at the news that they will soon be making their “maiden voyage” across the pond and onto the hellfire shores of ‘Murica (with one Canadian date) for a 15 date tour this October, including a stop in New York at Saint Vitus for the final show of the run.
Along with the tour announcement comes a brand new song and video, “Trauma Mosaic,” which sees them pushing forward in the exciting new direction they began exploring last year with “Theme New Bond Junior,” (read our thoughts), and continues in this more subtle approach for the band. It’s not a totally radical shift though and they do stay true to the sound that is their foundation, but they have broadened the expanse of that sound and the perceived limits of a two piece punk band in the process. Newtown holds his signature growl back a bit to show off his vocal range nicely, the satisfying gruffness kicking in as the guitars intensify and the song hits the soaring choruses. I’ve loved getting to hear another side of this band who as it turns out, are just as great at pulling back and riding a feeling as they are as crafting rip roaring shout it out punk anthems. The song does just that, the last nearly three minutes spent on a building jam that hits a fever pitch in the waning minute before things settle down once more and we’re left to contemplate as the guitar echos away.
Newton shared about the song and video:
There’s a deliberate, claustrophobic repetition to the earlier stages of the song/video, which mirrors the very human tendency to obsess in cycles of thought — it’s certainly something we
both struggle with as individuals. If you take the title more literally, we all contain a patchwork
of images sewn together from the past, and these memories are used as a map of survival
within our present. These primal instincts seem overloaded nowadays, and we
become open to be haunted by even the slightest reflection.”
The song also comes paired with a video directed by Newton and the band’s long time collaborator Paul Grace. Watch the video below and scroll down for all North American Tour Dates.
All dates with Tunic
10/3- Phoenix, AZ @ Linger Longer Lounge
10/4- Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
10/5- Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
10/7- San Francisco, CA @ Brick and Mortar
10/10- Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
10/11- Portland, OR @ Mission Theater
10/13- Salt Lake City, UT @ The DLC
10/14- Denver, CO @ Skylark Lounge
10/17- St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
10/18- Chicago, IL @ Schubas
10/20- Toronto, ON @ The Baby G
10/21- Columbus, OH @ The Basement
10/24- Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
10/25- Washington, DC @ DC9
10/26- Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus