Adam O’Sullivan formed Japan Review five years ago and, now, after several members have come and gone, has settled into a writing partnership with Dom Ashton on their new EP ‘Juno’.
Pop simplicity and drone-rock or noise-gaze are not things that marry well together often. On opener ‘Soviet Happy’, Japan Review have come pretty close. O’Sullivan’s lo-fi vocals have a lazy Lou Reed style and the main riff saunters along like The Horrors in a good mood. The droning psyche howl at the beginning gives it a much needed ‘anything could happen’ feel before the sumptuous Depeche Mode synth hooks come in to melt even the coldest of hearts.
The 5am lo-fi feel flows throughout the EP. ‘Say Hi To Juno’ effortlessly floats on by with the eloquence of Beach House. ‘Sealand F.C.’ has a raw demo of Lemonjelly feel to it whilst ‘Inertia’ has hazier mood.
‘Inertia’ signifies a bright future for Japan Review. It’s reach for something more life affirming will evoke memories of all-nighters with your best friends where, tomorrow, nothing will ever be the same again. It’s like a stripped back TV On The Radio making a Velvet Underground record in the 21st century.
‘Say Hi To Juno’, treads a similar line. The revolving synths soaring through pain and elation simultaneously. They have Mogwai’s ability to torture and nourish the soul in one achingly blistering piece of art.
If Japan Review show as much ambition live as they do on this EP, they’re going to be wowing audiences for a very long time.
*Image courtesy of Edward Green