By Ellie Gaudiosi
Kicking off the Leeds date of the Rock Sound Exposure tour were London five-piece Japanese Voyeurs. Their unique mix of grunge and metal has meant they have been dubbed to be at the centre of the recent ‘grunge revival’, alongside bands such as Dinosaur Pile-Up, who are also on the Rock Sound tour.
Japanese Voyeurs took to the stage and launched straight in to ‘You’re So Cool’, the beginning of their whirlwind eight-song set. The band energetically storm around the small stage from the very start of the set, particularly lead singer and guitarist Romily Alice, who empowers the room with her stage presence. The heavy riffs and guitar solos in songs such as ‘Dumb’ showcase perfectly the instrumental talent in the band and also provide the perfect backdrop for the vocals.
Due to sound issues, Romily’s vocals are at times muted but once the issue is resolved it is clear that her voice is back on top form, after having to pull out of a few shows earlier on the tour. Her distinct vocals captivate the crowd and make Japanese Voyeurs stand out from many of the Hayley Williams-esque female vocalists of today.
Despite the energetic, passionate performance given by the band, the crowd never seem to warm up and remain motionless for the majority of the set. The lack of audience participation on the band’s part may have failed to get the crowd going, but the harsh, loud, edginess of the songs mean it is impossible to not pay attention to the performance on the stage.
The band round-up their performance with a cover of Nine Inch Nails ‘Closer’, which they do to perfection and make it seem as though the song were their own, before closing with free download track ‘Smother Me’. ‘Smother Me’ appears to be the highlight of the night, as the crowd finally awaken.
As Japanese Voyeurs depart the stage, they make their way back through the crowd and leave the room to applause and cheers after their fantastic performance. With the release of their debut album coming up in the next few months, this year holds a lot in store for the band and their popularity will undoubtedly continue to grow.