If you could artificially create a band that could fulfil my every needs Japanese Voyeurs would most definately be the end result. They have everything I need; distorted guitars, check. Riot grrrl-esque vocals, check. Lyrics that beat you around the head till you’re numb, check and check. Not to say that Japanese Voyeurs are in anyway artificial or manufactured. You can’t put this kind of auditory bliss together in the back room of a record label. This band are the real deal.
Given my anticipation for JV’s debut album Yolk they could fall hard on their faces at this hurdle right now but fortunately they don’t. Lead singer Romily Alice guides her surprisingly hairy motley crew of a band through a maze of grotesque imagery, 90s riffs and playful lyrics.
Many reviewers have likened Romily’s raw girlish vocals to Daisy Chainsaw vocalist Katie Jane Garside which is fair enough but Romily is not just a Garside copycat. JV are intelligent, playful and, most importantly like all bands should be, they’re moving.
Opener ‘You’re So Cool’ sees Romily calling out her persecutor for the playground bullying she suffered: “In the garden you made fun of me / pulled my hair and pushed me over.” Lead single ‘Get Hole’ is an aggressively raw punk number that showcases JV’s pop punk sensibilities at their finest.
The album also includes reworked earlier songs such as ‘Dumb’, ‘Milk Teeth’ and ‘That Love Sound’. JV are a band that wear their influences on their sleeves and that main influence is the 90s. They sound scarily similar to early grunge bands like Nirvana and Babes In Toyland. Listen to ‘Dumb’ and a riff that sound freakily like Nirvana hits you round the chops straight away. I love the 90s but there is nothing creative about rehashing the past. Despite one or two failures Yolk is a fully rounded, epic debut album from a band that should be on the tips of everyone’s tongues right now.
Yolk is out now
For more information: japanesevoyeurs.com