The Great Book of John – The Great Book of John

January 01, 1970



This little
known Birmingham, Alabama quartet is led by Taylor Shaw. He used
to be in a band called Wild Sweet Orange but they broke up and he picked a
better band name.  This is The Great Book
of John’s sophomore effort and while the debut was mostly acoustic, this
release is a different affair altogether. Full of layered, swirling guitars and
some truly woozy atmospherics, the band has taken a huge leap forward. However
if that description sounds like a psychedelic mess, think otherwise. Shaw has
the chops (and the songs) to back up his grandiose tunes. Bringing to mind the
swirling majesty of bands like Radiohead and New Zealand’s Straightjacket Fits.


Opening tune
“Robin Hood” begins with some great stun guitar that jars you to attention
while Shaw drawls out the lyrics and singing as if he’s telling you every
secret you have ever wanted to hear while “Brown Frown” is choppier and more
moody as the piano bangs in the background but Shaw’s vocals still create a
dizzying effect. A Radiohead influence seeps in on “Let Me Slide” as the
mountain that the band is climbing is getting steeper and steeper and the
balance is off everywhere but one listen to the gorgeous, stripped-down “Ashes
Over Manhattan” shows a completely different side of other band (same with
“10,000 Miles”). A few tunes drag a bit (among them, “Black Heart”) but most of
this is very good.


Maybe they’re
not the “it” band at the right moment, but all that could change in an instant
for The Great Book of John. Even if not, we’re still left with a very strong
record that deserves lots of listeners.


DOWNLOAD: “Robin Hood”, “Brown Frown”, “Ashes
Over Manhattan” TIM HINELY


Leave a Reply