Blacklab describe themselves as ‘the Dark Witch Doom Duo from Osaka Japan’.
However, when it comes to witches, they are more the spectral Sadako from ‘The Ring’ than campy ‘Countess Dracula’.
Chilling cool with built in overdrive.
Yuko and Chia are undoubtedly immersed in the Japanese stoner doom scene, and it’s no surprise that with their first offering on NHS, they’ve pulled out a calling card that is as ‘in yer face’ and arresting as anything out there.
Under The Strawberry Moon 2.0 is a full frontal assault of distorted riffs, howls and ghostly vocals, as well as bags of riot girrl attitude and lo-fi bravado.
In fact, listening to them brings back that frisson of excitement you got (those who may be old enough to remember) when you heard Mudhoney’s ‘Superfuzz Bigmuff’ for the first time.
But grunge they are not, and neither are they ‘occult rock’.
Their sound is always crushing and heavily fuzz laden, sometimes psych and sometimes hardcore punk, but always ear catching. And with vocals that veer from ethereal to throat ripping, they not only make a mighty sound for a two piece, but are a unique proposition in their own right.
What's not to love.
Blacklab are: Yuko Morino, guitar and vocals. Chia Shiraishi, drums.