Have you ever come across a band so odd that it left you dumbfounded? I could think of a few: Primus, Faith No More, Tool, and Japam. Who’s Japam? Well, let me explain.
Japam is a hard rocking five-piece ensemble from Adelaide, Australia. The band began when guitarist Seb Hudson, an online musician, decided to take his songs out of his home and to the live stage. His decision has since led to the formation of Japam, rotation on radio stations throughout Australia, and the release of the debut titled How’s My EP?
One reason for describing the band as odd is due to the fact I haven’t previously heard much of Japam’s genre. The band is labeled as Djent, a blend of hardcore and progressive metal that uses staccato riffs.
The EP’s first track, Seraph, features quite a punchy rhythm section. For a heavy band, the vocals are surprisingly clean with lots of highs. The guitarists demonstrate a combination of technicality and restraint with the changes in tempo.
DK Facepunch is more of the same, thunderous metal with a hint of snappy, upbeat pop. The video for this one shows the band performing while being monitored by scientists for an experiment. The scientists give each member of the group a pair of blue hospital scrubs to put on their feet before they begin jamming. In the middle of session, gorillas are released to perturb the band. The visuals add another side of weirdness to Japam’s coin.
Wolf Harass is by far the heaviest song on How’s My EP? The bass drum and guitars play a tight, galloping rhythm. The rising vocal harmonies in the chorus stand out here as well. There’s also a video for Wolf Harass. This time, the guys are singing karaoke in front of a green screen filled with random images, some of which are schools of fish and a guy doing BMX tricks.
After seeing the videos, I realized I like these guys more for their personalities than their music. Hearing one of these songs on the radio would never give you any clue to the humor and eccentricity of what this band does visually. It was a decent enough to hear just the music, but I had better time having a laugh and marveling at the bizarre nature of this group’s YouTube channel.