EP REVIEW - Japan Review - Juno - Post Image - (300x300)ARTIST: Japan Review


RELEASE DATE: 22nd March 2019


London-based ‘Japan Review’ have had a revolving door of personnel since its formation back in 2014 all milling around it’s one solid sonic protagonist – Adam O’Sullivan. Steeped in hazy lo-fi sensibilities and permeated with experimental yet dreamy nugaze vibes, ‘Japan Review’ inject drone, analog synth and impressionistic twists into their collective modernistic sound. Their latest four track EP entitled ‘Juno’ was recorded last year and co-written with O’Sullivan’s former Beach Volleyball bandmate Dom Ashton. It had it’s official release on March 22nd 2019 via independent record label ‘Reckless Yes’ and is available to buy/download on various formats from both recklessyes.comjapanreview.bandcamp.com respectively.

The EP begins rolling through clouds of reverb as the pitter patter of sequenced percussion fizzes underfoot and the twang of guitar echoes through the sonic ether. ‘Soviet Happy’ builds into this booming monolith as it’s melancholic vocals arrive, peppered with repetitive guitar, the hum of bass frequencies and flurries of synth. Both melodic and sullen in equal parts, this track explodes into a riot of colour as layers of driving reverb-laden guitar merge into one huge wall of fuzz, sucking in the vocal until barely recognisable and those soaring lines of synth point skywards leading us into it’s grand finale. Up next, ‘Say Hi To Juno’ begins floating on a melodic keyboard line before being joined by droning guitars and a busy sequenced drum pattern. Huge in scope, it lays bare an almost cinematic approach with it’s wide scoped reverbs and massive production values that allow those vocals to hover in a kind of suspended sonic animation whilst the instrumentation circumnavigates in a gentle kind of way. Beautifully transcendent, ‘Say Hi To Juno’ is my favourite track on the entire release.

‘Sealand F.C’ announces itself with blissful sample before sequenced synths and acoustic vibrations arrive, pulling vocals and slide guitar in to the mix drenched in oodles of reverb. Again, this track is heavily melodic and beautifully constructed, abundantly lo-fi and distilling a melancholic wave of reminisces that forces the listener to remember a lost love or times gone by. Listen out for that huge sounding finale and the brilliant use of percussion throughout. The EP closes out with ‘Inertia’, another brilliantly constructed track but leaning more into alternative led electronica than the previous soundscapes. Layered percussion bubbles beneath the throb of bass frequencies to collectively construct a solid bedrock of sounds as swirling guitar drones and subtle lines of analog synth envelope the vocal brilliantly. Unfortunately though, as I listen through this track, there are massive differences to the previous three and I can’t help but hear Radiohead or even Thom Yorke’s solo efforts coursing through its veins. All in all a very interesting release.









Del Chaney - (Author Photo)

Del Chaney has spent the last six years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, post-punk & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm  – Primal Radio –  has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting genres of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.