Have you ever wondered what Radiohead might sound like if they were a country-rock outfit? Now, sure, Wilco has already been called the American Radiohead, thanks in no large part to the experimental and sonically challenging Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but they have nothing on Birmingham, Alabama’s the Great Book of John – a band that takes the paranoia and widescreen open spaces of the British group and pushes it directly and convincingly into straight Americana. On this, their self-titled album, the Great Book of John’s Taylor Shaw vocalizes and swoops to the same transcendent heights of Thom Yorke, and it is an absolute beauty to behold. However, the group also brings stellar songs to the table and crafts them into huge sheets of sound, working with Grammy Award winning engineer Darrell Thorp, who has, yes, done time in the trenches with Radiohead. With such comparisons being bandied about, you would think that the Great Book of John is merely a knock-off, a sound-alike, but this album showcases a band that has absorbed a main influence and has fused it with the rarefied sound of old-time country music and, this might sound like a boast, has crafted an album that is just about as engaging as Radiohead’s high water mark, OK Computer. Simply put, The Great Book of John is a stunning record, one without a weak track in sight, and is one of the most consistently enjoyable albums to reach these ears in quite some time. The Great Book of John is unrelentingly stark and brilliant in equal measure, and you simply just cannot. get. enough. of. it.
From PopMatters

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