EP REVIEW: Sickboy (JAPAM)
EP: Sickboy // ARTIST: Japam
Heavy rock meets saucy djent and more as Adelaide's Japam carve up some modern prog for your earholes with their forthcoming EP 'Sickboy'.
Partially named for a meditative mantra and a drunken mispronunciation, Japam evolved from bedroom demos to live brutality, kicking off in 2014 and eventually amassing a quintet of locals whose previous careers included supporting Birds of Tokyo, a guest slot playing Van Halen covers with Steel Panther, Big Day Out appearances and more. And it's perhaps this accumulated experience and talent that is at the core of the group's upcoming release - coupled with a headstrong dedication to cleaving modern and infectious melodics amongst heavier waters, 'Sickboy' is five tracks of polished grooves and cheery ferocity that culminates in a total poppin', proggin' party.
Starting off on a moody note, 'How Did You Go Blind' kickstarts proceedings with thick riffs, palpitating drums and creamy vocals that pierce through a crashing backdrop. 'Sickboy Wants A Hotdog' follows with some spicy percussion, deep grooves and jangly guitars, showcasing the melodic punch the Japam lads pack (and incidentally making me suddenly crave a hot dog). The 'Sickboy' midpoint gifts us 'Attempt 2' which sprinkles in some synthy tones amid razor-sharp riffs and crunching vocals, and ultimately builds into a dreamy prog-tinged knockout that would happily sit alongside the likes of Karnivool and Textures.
Lead single 'Roak' erupts next up, upping the djent ante (djante? No?) and dramatically showcasing the technical prowess lurking in the Japam realm. It's a tight and precise outing that cranks the crunch, bolsters the prog and chucks in some well-timed abrasive vocals to absolutely tear down the walls, before 'Shuckle' rounds out the EP with some pummelling bass and heaving soundscapes.
Marking their first EP since 2016, 'Sickboy' highlights Japam's significant underground (and self-described "handsome") following, delivering a full-fledged outing that's as heavy on the charm as it is on the riffs, balancing hooks and grooves with a coiled, rocking fist. It's been worth the wait for their latest adventure, so be sure to
catch 'Sickboy' when it unveils this Friday.
JAPAM'S NEW EP 'SICKBOY' IS SET FOR RELEASE THIS FRIDAY 12TH APRIL.
BY TIANA SPETER