By Japanese Voyeurs
If EP-opener 'Dumb' is your first taste of Japanese Voyeurs, then prepare to do a double take, because frontwoman Romily Alice has a voice that has to be heard to be believed. Sounding equal parts pouting temptress; strangled feline and possessed doll, it's something that'll either irritate the hell out of you, or have you wishing all singers could sound half this distinctive. Those wheedling, whining and whinging vocals alone put Japanese Voyeurs in a group of one. Comparisons to other vocalists are impossible to make. Even better, Japanese Voyeurs show off Alice's unique vocals, with lullaby-like lyrics: Alice whimpering "mommy / mommy / I've been a good girl this year" will make your flesh crawl.
Look beyond the vocals (somehow) and 'Dumb' is churning, sleazy grunge that gets the balance spot on between keeping the song moving swiftly along, and not encroaching on Alice's well-deserved place in the spotlight.
For 'X-Ray Ted' Alice drops the creepy, seductive lilt in favour of a tormented screech, which compliments this song's darker, bass-heavy slant. The only criticism possible to level at 'X-Ray Ted,' is that by making the ending an instrumental, the listener misses out on the chance to hear another twenty seconds of Alice's mind-twisting vocals, which is nothing short of criminal.
Final track 'You're So Cool' has a grubbier, grungier feel, with groaning guitars that provide a jarring contrast to Alice trilling "you're so coo-ooool" in her best baby-voice. The dense sleazed churned out by the rest of the band once again falls expertly short of taking the edge off Alice's voice. 'You're So Cool' is as grungey as it could be, without overpowering those unique vocals.
With 'Sicking And Creaming,' the major selling point is, of course, Alice's voice. Yet, remarkably it isn't completely overwhelmed by those vocals, with plenty of grungey rhythms, sleazy riffs and rock 'n roll beats, ensuring that Alice's vocals are the irresistible finishing touch to what's already boisterous, grubby rock in its own right. 'Sicking And Creaming' will have fans of the unusual salivating in anticipation of Japanese Voyeurs' next release.