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Album Review

Just in case you thought that the only thing they were capable of was smart-aleck herky-jerk novelty tunes, on John Henry John Flansburgh and John Linnell put together an honest-to-goodness rock band and show that they know how to use it. And the result is one of the more satisfying They Might Be Giants projects, a crunchy yet sweet assortment of the usual bemusement ("Unrelated Thing"), weirdness ("Spy"), and smart-aleck herky-jerk novelty tunes ("Meet James Ensor," "Extra Savoir Faire") bolstered by unusually hard-rocking accompaniment. Kudos to bass player (and Pere Ubu alumnus) Tony Maimone and to drummer Brian Doherty for coming up with the tectonic groove that powers "AKA Driver" and to everyone involved for the irresistible guitar pop of "Subliminal" and "I Should Be Allowed to Think."

Customer Reviews

John Henry

TMBG's best.


Flood is the album for the one hit wonders and casual fans. Apollo 18 is the album I grew up claiming to be the best. Factory Showroom and Miscellaneous T have some outstanding one shots. Exploring Lincoln and the self titled album reveal some rare gems once you're already hooked on the band. John Henry, however, is the one I find myself listening to more than any other. Pound for pound this is their best work, with quality work from track to track. I can not recommend this enough.


Formed: 1983 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining a knack for infectious melodies with a quirky sense of humor and a vaguely avant-garde aesthetic borrowed from the New York post-punk underground, They Might Be Giants became an unlikely alternative rock success story as they reinvented themselves throughout their career. Musically, John Flansburgh and John Linnell borrowed from everywhere, but this eclecticism was enhanced by their arcane sensibilities. The duo referenced everything from British Invasion to Tin Pan Alley, while making...
Full Bio