Japanese Television - Party Hardly

Japanese Television - Tick Tock.

Background - Japanese harp and synth player Ian Thorn and Bassist Alex Lawton met on tour in Europe, performing as part of a Canadian space-rock orchestra. They bonded over their shared passion for Finnish experimental band Circle, Pink Floyd, Television, Broadcast and Brian Eno, and went on to form instrumental space-surf band, Japanese Television, with James Moriaty and Tim Jones.

They put together a collection of tracks that would make their debut self-titled EP and went into “the studio” (i.e a village hall outside of Peterborough, England, armed with an 8-track) with Kristian Bell of The Wytches at the helm. The EP is out on 7th September via revered underground label Tip Top Recordings (Cassels, Sun Cop).

This week the band share first single from the EP; Tick Tock - a white knuckle ride journey through time and space. The single was given its first play last night on John Kennedy's Radio X, with John making it a 'hot one'. He said the track had "shades of Electrelane".

From the ashes of three separate psychedelic rock bands, rose Japanese Television – who formed late last year with a shared vision of creating wonky surf-rock. “Although the band is instrumental, we don't play solos. It's more about atmosphere and creating a hypnotic effect. Hypnotism through repetition, reverbs and delays, harps and fuzzboxes” Ian continues.

“The combination of extensive travelling and our shared love for psychedelic and experimental music has crept into the sound of the EP” says synth/harpist Ian. “If Country Joe represents the scenic part of the journey where you're by the coast or in the mountains in the sunshine, then Tick Tock is bombing it up the M1.”

The quartet have succeeded in capturing the raw spirit of their live performance on the EP, recording over a mere two days to an 8-track tape. “The rural location coupled with the fact that it rained constantly, meant that we were able to focus completely on getting it done in a short amount of time” they explained.

At the heavier end of Japanese Television’s brief collection of experimental tracks, is lead single from their first EP, Tick Tock. Recorded live in one take, the track harks back to ‘70s-era motorik rock, employing organs, synths and reverb-drenched guitars cascading over a hypnotic, driving bass. “Tick Tock is heavily influenced by the likes of Hawkwind and Neu!” says Ian. FACEBOOK.

Mention of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd and Neu as influences in the bands promo grabbed my attention, however at the same time it kind of set the bar rather high in terms of expectation, after all anyone can name drop. Our first taste of Japanese Television comes in the form of the instrumental 'Tick Tock'. Yes the expected components of psych, space rock and surf rock are all present, the key factor is that they are blended together beautifully with an air of exuberance and passion. The EP cannot arrive soon enough!


Party Hardly - Terry Shure.

Background - Bustling Leeds (UK) quartet Party Hardly launch woozy, alt-rock number Terry Shure, the first track taken from their forthcoming debut EP Cycle Of Life out this autumn. 

Recorded with MJ of Hookworms in his acclaimed Suburban Home studio, the band’s latest social commentary adds further credence to their songwriting capabilities with guitarist Matt Pownall discussing the release in detail:

“Terry Shure is my personal realisation of seeing people’s lives go stagnant. How over time you go from doing new and exciting things to telling the same old stories and being stuck in the past”.

Positioned firmly at the heart of the city’s thriving music scene, the rising foursome have already landed impressive support slots with acts including INHEAVEN, The Magic Gang and Trudy and the Romance as well as picking up key champions throughout the online community with their first few releases.

Upcoming debut EP Cycle Of Life sees the fuzzy outfit take another giant leap forward with their eccentric brand of indie rock and in lead single Terry Shure they provide the perfect taste of what’s to come. Produced by Hookworms’ MJ (Drenge, The Magic Gang, Honeyblood), Party Hardly’s Terry Shure is out now and available on all digital platforms. TWITTER.

'Terry Shure' is fresh and modern and yet for some reason, I get the feeling that this song could have been comfortably at home in the swinging sixties, circa the Carnaby Street era. It's alternative enough, however that doesn't stop the hooks coming in droves and making this one very addictive piece of gorgeous music.