Japan Review share new single ‘Channel Waves’ ahead of next weeks album release
Debut album Kvetch Sounds out October 29th
via Reckless Yes
Glasgow-based noise pop band Japan Review have shared new single ‘Channel Waves’, the final to be taken from their forthcoming debut album, Kvetch Sounds. Building on the band’s shoegaze foundations, Kvetch Sounds sees Japan Review pushing sonically into a more experimental territory, opting to embrace electronic instruments and celebrate the limitations of their more stripped back line up. The result is a truly expansive debut that twists and turns through different tempos, and even genres, without ever losing its way. Kvetch Sounds is due out next Friday, October 29th via Reckless Yes.
On their new single, lead singer Adam O’Sullivan says:
“This was the first track where we really embraced the drum machine as an instrument rather than an imitation of acoustic drums – creating an industrial, machine-like anchor for the song.
In terms of lyrics, I never really think about what I’m writing when I’m writing it, but we do think a lot about mood & atmosphere, with the sound of the words being just as important as their meaning. Listening back to it now, the narrator sounds frantic and a bit paranoid with an undertone of apathy.
The noisy outro was written very much with live in mind – we really like to try to push our songs as close to completely falling apart without actually letting them while experimenting with letting different aspects of it repeat for long periods of time with only small variations in texture”.
Channel Waves commences with this bold drum beat and instant driving momentum. This crushing formation of soaring, ominous tones display the expressive intent of this ensemble whilst the atmospherical dimensions prove endless. Darker attributes emerge from the brooding vocal notes and the insightful lyrics, Japan Review has created this moving, anthemic powerful arrangement.
As the track flows, this synth sound surges and adds this brighter texture to the soundscape, and enhances the vocals. Entirely immersive from the get-go, this 5-minute 30-second track is a journey worth embarking on. The exploration starts to develop into this progressive and sonic landscape that adds complexity from the vast intensive rhythms that capture the committed energy of this duo.
With the new track, Japan Review showcase their ability to create a composition that is packed full of emotion and displays the outfits’ powerful songwriting skills.
Starting life as O’Sullivan’s bedroom recording project, he approached Foden to play simple synth parts as a live member after releasing Japan Review’s debut EP. “Genna was always more interested in electronic music but had never played an instrument before, we bought a cheap Microkorg and she took to it immediately, before expanding into more interesting hardware” explains O’Sullivan. “Now she does all of the drum programming, writes and plays all the synth parts, all the while playing bass with her feet using midi pedals”. On the band’s expansion into electronic experimentation, Foden says “I’ve always felt that electronic drums and arpeggiated synths were perfect companions to the glide guitars of shoegaze. It doesn’t feel like too many bands combine them – but it was an opportunity for us to explore two of our most influential genres.”
O’Sullivan’s ethos around writing and recording music is similar to that of hometown hero Mark E Smith. “I think recording and putting out music is something bands shouldn’t overthink, but rather turn up, work hard and see what happens. If we would have recorded any of the songs on this record on another day they would be totally different,” he says. Kvetch Sounds is an expansive and exhilarating debut, bubbling with invention and ideas that leave the listener wondering where Japan Review will go from here. It seems possible that even they don’t know, but that’s all part of their charm.
The countdown for this incredible album release is on!
The Weather Underground