By Japanese Voyeurs
Japanese Voyeurs' debut EP, 'Sicking And Creaming,' was one of those rare releases that sounded like no other band, which makes any follow-up release a tricky business. Can they pull it off a second time, with this double A-side single?
Initial indications aren't good, as 'That Love Sound' creeps apologetically from the speakers, with only a pulsing bass and a few whimpers from frontwoman Romily Alice announcing its arrival. Thankfully, less than a minute into 'That Love Sound,' Alice goes from cracked whisper to full-on, hellish banshee screech in the space of three seconds, and the rest of the band unleash an oil-slick of bass-drenched aural sleaze. It all equates to a thunderous, grubby chorus that couldn't be more oldschool grunge if it tried.
For the verses, 'That Love Sound' does hush it down to the bass pulse and broken crooning it started with. While it isn't as enjoyable as those booming, bass-sodden choruses, whenever it's chorus time, and those downtuned guitars burst, groaning and dripping sleaze from your speakers, it's all the more invigorating, because of the hush that preceded it. Those rare moments of quiet also give the listener ample opportunity to fully appreciate Alice's jaw-dropping vocals, as she wrenches sounds from her vocal chords you would have previously sworn were physically impossible. Alternating between an eerily childlike burble and a nails-on-a-chalkboard shriek, it's a voice you'll either be desperate to hear more of - or desperate never to hear again. Either way, Japanese Voyeurs cannot fail to make an impression.
B-side, 'Blush' sees Japanese Voyeurs once again kick off in unspectacular fashion, before rolling out one of the grubbiest, most bowel-troubling basslines you're likely to hear all year. Alice pushes her vocals one step further in this track, yowling and jabbering across a musical landscape that seamlessly blends art-metal weirdness with smutty grunge bass.
With this double A-side, Japanese Voyeurs prove their scene-shaking 'Sicking And Creaming' EP wasn't a one-off, novelty item. Hopefully, we'll see a full-length from this five-piece soon, because an entire album's worth of this sort of stuff, would be just plain awesome.