16th January 2016 – Self-released
Belgian studio duo Jusska first broke cover with their debut release L’omme de L’ombre in August 2015. Their nascent combination of big, wall-of-sound riffs and dreamy vocals showed great potential, and they have swiftly followed it up with the second in a planned series of three EPs, Tsuki, which moves the project forwards several large steps.
Depending on which translation website you believe, Tsuki is Japanese for ‘thrust’ or ‘punch’ (or ‘moon’ or ‘pretty girl’, but Japanese is very confusing indeed) and it would be fair to describe the EP as punchier and more thrusting than its predecessor – but, fortunately, not at the cost of the elements that made that first EP so tantalising.
The biggest and most obvious change in Camp Jusska is the arrival of a guest musician, percussionist extraordinaire Mike Malyan, who has lent his considerable talents to the drum programming for the three tracks on offer here. Making his presence felt right from the introductory fill on first track “Cascade“, his imaginative and thoroughly natural-sounding contributions add a whole new dimension to the songs on offer here, complimenting and lifting the work of vocalist Iason Passaris and guitarist Leander Verheyen to new heights.
Second track “Geisha” carries an upbeat and funky stop-start groove, underpinned by some snazzy slap bass and Mike’s snappy drums giving it a (legitimately) Monuments-style vibe without feeling like a rip-off. Final track “Limbo“, like “Cascade“, has more of a djenty Deftones-meets-A Perfect Circle vibe, balancing blissed-out vocals and mid-paced buzzsaw riffs.
Like any good EP, the three tracks of Tsuki leave the listener hungry for more. Fleshing out the initial template laid down by the first EP, it fills in the details on the bare bones of L’omme de L’ombre in a hugely successful manner. With the band now advertising for a permanent drummer and bass player to join the line-up, Jusska might have started as a studio side-project, but it is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in its own right.
For fans of music which is simultaneously melodic and muscular, in Tsuki Jusska provide a neat little espresso shot of three energising and exciting songs. Roll on EP number three.
Tsuki is available to stream and buy from Jusska’s bandcamp page: