A self-proclaimed “angry band” from Bristol in Southwest England, Idles take the fury of punk rock and wed it to a muscular but moody instrumental attack that matches the literate, purposeful menace of their lyrics. The band existed in relative obscurity for several years while they were finding their sound but that all changed upon the release of their debut album, Brutalism, which catapulted them into the public eye. Idles were formed in 2010 by vocalist Joe Talbot, lead guitarist Mark Bowen, rhythm guitarist Andy S, bassist Adam Devonshire, and drummer Jon Beavis.

Taking the momentum gained from the release of their debut, the group toured extensively and continued to write new material throughout 2017; they re-entered the studio in January 2018 to begin recording their follow-up. The second album arrived after slight delays; Talbot experienced more personal tragedy and conversely gave up drinking. In reaction to those events, the themes of 2018’s Joy as an Act of Resistance shifted focus to communities and supportive ideals, although it still found time to take shots at the failings of U.K. society.

Taking the mundane spirit of their name as a manifesto, Crystal Palace based two piece JOHN (both members aptly named John) offer a deadpan approach that has become the recognisable force of their live performance, with an almost mechanical solidity rare for only two bodies. Alongside the rhythmic synchronisation of guitar and drums, introspective lyrics suggest that literature and spoken word are just as important influences as the Punk, Noise and Rock genres they might comfortably fit into. This tight balance between content and volume has lead them on to stages with bands such Pulled Apart By Horses, USA Nails and Idles, as well garnering support from writer/actor Simon Pegg and XFM DJ John Kennedy.