REVIEW BY HALINA WEGNER
On November 10, 2023, John E Vistic, a name heralded as a cult legend by BBC Radio 6’s Tom Robinson, launched his latest EP ‘Humanz Are Bastardz’ on Deafendling Records, marking a fervent return to the music scene. Known for his multi-instrumentalist talent and as an award-winning London-born songwriter raised in Australia, Vistic’s music embodies a unique fusion of punk, rock ‘n’ roll, and alt-country, earning accolades such as ‘Filthy’ from acclaimed artists like Damien Sayell of Mclusky and St.Pierre Snake Invasion.
The EP presents an unapologetic barrage of sonic energy that practically emanates the scent of raw, gritty sweat. Vistic draws from an eclectic array of influences, including The Jesus & Mary Chain, Marky Ramone, The Jesus Lizard, Cramps, Stooges, Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, Sisters of Mercy, PIL, The Cosmic Psychos, Idles, Metz, and Fontaines DC, crafting a musical amalgamation that’s both visceral and confrontational.
Louder Than War aptly describes the experience: “You will be knocked over by the wall of sound which backs a vocal delivery sounding like Mark E Smith on heat… Amidst fuzzed up, squalling and distorted guitars.”
‘Humanz Are Bastardz’ delves into existentialist themes, drawing inspiration from literary and philosophical figures such as Jared Diamond’s ‘Gunz Germs & Steel,’ Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment,’ Karl Ove Knausgård’s ‘Every Purpose Under Heaven,’ and Ian Dury’s ‘Humanz Are Bastardz.’ This release follows Vistic’s 2021 album ‘Under the Volcano,’ a nod to the infamous novel by Lowry, along with recent singles ‘Das Ubermensch’ and ‘Spiderz,’ gaining substantial airplay on esteemed platforms like BBC and Kerrang.
Vistic’s stage presence is a force to be reckoned with, having graced major festivals such as Rebellion, Camp Bestival, Glastonbury, and Latitude. He’s shared stages with renowned acts like Mudhoney, The Sonics, Alabama 3, and The Jim Jones Revue, earning commendation from BBC Introducing Bristol for delivering performances that are sweaty, loud, and intoxicating. Described as an irresistible, larger-than-life force of nature, Vistic’s live shows are an embodiment of unrelenting passion and unbridled energy, leaving an indelible mark on all who witness his electrifying performances.
‘Humanz Are Bastardz’ stands as a testament to John E Vistic’s unyielding commitment to delivering unfiltered, potent music that captivates, challenges, and resonates with a thunderous intensity. It’s a thrilling testament to an artist unafraid to push boundaries, ignite emotions, and channel raw authenticity into a musical landscape longing for unapologetic fervour.