Japhy's Descent Articles
Phoenix New Times Duo
Travis Ryder and Martin Sugg - Japhy's Descent
Martin Sugg and Travis Ryder of Japhy's Descent are a truly classic pairing of a great front man and great lead guitarist. Ryder is the over the top personality and Sugg is the 'cooler than the other side of the pillow" musician. They're chemistry during live performances is akin to the likes of Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, or Bruce Springsteen and Little Stevie. They're just two players look good, sound good, and mesh well together, and it's a really good thing their bandmates James Sharpe and Brian Neil can keep up.
Christopher Robin by Japhy's Descent - Album review.
Christopher Robin has been something I have been looking forward to for nearly two years, and with that much anticipation and buildup, I can say that it does not disappoint in the least--in fact, it's more than I could have imagined...
New Tempe Classics - YabYum Music
Japhy's Descent seems to epitomize Tempe Rock: wailing guitars, songs ranging from rockers to ballads, and a true blue hippy sensibility. Released one year ago this past 4/20, Japhy's latest album Moon Noon is a two disc monster released into a world of singles and EPs. Not every song is new, some can be found on prior works, however, the re-imaginings are wonderful. The first disc, Noon, is Brian, James, Martin and Travis doing what they do best. Searing guitar work and skipping bass lines all on top of that funky shuffle drumming combine into the soufflé of rock the band is best known for. Moon, the second disc, certainly is something special. Gathering artists from around the Valley, each track showcases special guests. Tracked at STEM Recording by Mr. Curtis Grippe (who also did the aforementioned Banana Gun album and a whole host of other great records we love), there honestly is probably no one else who can capture the "Tempe Sound" as well as he. However, personally I feel the music of Japhy's Descent must be seen live. The album, while a truly solid recording, can't match the band's live performance. Japhy's Descent is a communal experience meant for lawless crowds full of turbid energy ready for release. Go see them now.
Sounds Around Town - Exclusive Japhy's Descent "Owl"
Welcome to a new installment on SoundsAroundTown.net where we offer exclusive recordings of bands we captured live on the air in all their perfection. When we do the show in a super, secret location it often amazes us with the sonic beauty that results. There is really no reason for these recordings to sound as great as they do, except that Kevin knows where to place the mics in a room that should not allow for these kind of acoustics. In the time that I’ve been working with the Driving With Gass show, the first encounter was Japhy’s Descent in an immaculate recording of the heretofore unrecorded new song “The Owl.” I’ve been threatening to unleash this recording and with Japhy’s permission, have been allowed to with welcome support. Kevin is the soul engineer here, Cindy Love smiled the entire time and I was simply in utter ecstasy.

The story between me and Japhy’s Descent goes back many years. You see–and I’ve told them this, so it’s no shock–I used to avoid them like the plague. Seriously, when they were about to go on stage, I knew it was time for me to step outside for a set, have a smoke or three and rejoin the show afterward…but, then something changed. I don’t want to say it was when Brian Neil joined the band, but it was within about 15 minutes to a half an hour of that moment. Now, lately, I’ve been going back and forth with friends and fellow music lovers about how many times you give a band a chance and some say once, some say twice, some say three strikes your out. I don’t believe any of that–in fact, if I don’t like a band, I’ll keep coming back for more until I can either a) safely conclude that I will never, under any circumstances like them or b) understand why I don’t like them and wonder if something needs to change in me. It seemed to be that somewhere in the making of the Feedback Ep and Moon Noon full length album…well, something magical happened. Japhy’s Descent became a band that I tried to avoid, to a band I couldn’t miss, and now they are a band that if I go too long without seeing live, I feel aural withdrawal pains. I was justified in my view on this when one of my closest friends watched them recently by my side, jaw agape, eyes wide and said, “When did they get so damn good?” I replied, “Where have you been for the last year?”

The combination of Travis’ brilliant vocals, Martin’s searing guitar, Brian’s amazing bass and the unworldly drumming of James has become something that my soul, spirit and ear are literally addicted to. For one thing it’s rock’n'roll, for another it’s just sheer fun to enjoy love, to let loose and have a good time to, but this has been said of many a bar band, but this bar band has an edge and that edge is a magical charm in the sense that the lyrics they sing, the music they play, the crowd they draw is all enamoring stuff. Maybe what it really means is that they’ve now played hundreds of shows and they know what works, what doesn’t, what’s perfect, what isn’t, they are wizened by time and for that they are brilliant. Lately, in the weekends I’ve been out, I’ve been happy to catch them twice each time and I’m always thankful for each moment I do.

The recording below we captured, unexpectedly, one night on the SoundsAroundTown feature on Wednesday’s during the Driving With Gass show on KWSS 106.7. This was a magical experience. I had caught the debut of “The Owl” at the Rogue a week or two before and as Martin Sugg recalls, “I remember you were drunk as hell going on about that ‘See You In The Air’ song.” He was not wrong and I was, but honestly, not that intoxicated, I was, if anything, liberated by a long awaited new song by Japhy’s Descent. And for its debut in that venue, I was simply stunned. I was even more stunned to hear it shortly thereafter played with such eloquence, off the cuff in front of radio station microphones, acoustic and coming out that well. “The Owl” is the first song to emerge from their next record concept which is based around The Tao of Pooh in which Benjamin Hall assesses the character universe created by A. A. Milne within the realm of Eastern Philosophy and the various archetypes of which each character defines. Brilliant, then, with any understanding, that Japhy’s Descent would choose good old Owl. In recent shows they’ve been adding trumpet and harmonica to their tunes with some extra players, that I honestly hope stick around because it makes their sound that much more exciting, but for right now you can enjoy this–sit back, put on the headphones or blaze it through your speakers, for here is “The Owl” from Japhy’s Descent.

The Owl

If you want to check this out in real life with your own ears, you have two very amazing places to do so this weekend, oddly both on Saturday, March 2nd as they pull double duty, first performing at the Huckleberry release show at The Sail Inn on the inside stage at 7:30pm, then at 9pm at at Lawn Gnome Publishing during the SXSR festival in downtown Phoenix. Pick a show, pick both, either way you win.
Answer 42 ranked #2 in 2012!!
This morning on KWSS 106.7 The Morning Infidelity played their top twenty for 2012 based on spins, requests and feedback throughout the year. SoundsAroundTown loved the list so much that we thought we would share what our favorite morning radio show picked as the best and brightest sounds of 2012.You can click on the band names below to lead you to each ones Facebook profile, then you can like them, love them, do what you want with them.

Thanks so much to KWSS 106.7 and the crew at TMI for rocking local–2012 would not have been the same without your amazing and continuous support of the local music scene. And as always, though it’s been said, many times, many ways, by many people: Fuck Beef Vegan!
Arizona Indie Acts To Invade SXSW
...Marty Sugg, guitarist for Japhy's Descent agreed, “it’s better to have fun with it, going out there by yourself and doing it on your own terms.”

The lineup for the showcase includes All My Friends, Andrew Duncan Brown, Avery, Bad Lucy, Captain Squeegee, Danger Paul, Doctor Bones, Field Tripp, Frequent Kings, Japhy's Descent, Sundressed, Sun Ghost, and The Hourglass Cats.

“As of right now we have 13 bands and they're all pretty committed,” said Pals.

Japhy's Descent is so committed to the showcase that they provided $175 per band to lock down the venue by Dec. 1 so the rest of the bands could have time to fundraise and get the money together for the show.

“That’s just awesome, it is a beautiful thing, and I should thank him more,” said Torgersen.

“It show’s how much they respect and love their music community,” said Pals.

“Just making sure we could secure the venue,” said Sugg. “I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the bands, I’m really excited to play with Bad Lucy and Avery, glad to be on a bill with them. Frequent Kings and The Hourglass Cats too.”...
Sounds Around Town
...a blues drenched, psychedelic, hard rock odyssey ...
EchoCloud Review
This is a rock song [Answer 42], in the best way possible. The melody explodes with passion and intensity.
As we wave goodbye to our friends…
What can one say about a night like this past Saturday night? It was beyond words. I am still recovering and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It was a party in its purest form. Five dollars gets you access to eleven hours of music and a CD to take home?! My mother always told me to buy in bulk and never turn down a sale, so it was pretty much set in stone where I was going to be Saturday night. Thanks Mom. As fate would have it, Long Wong’s was most definitely the place to be Saturday. I was there very early in the evening and enjoyed every single second of the entire night.

I’d really like to give a big thanks to Saving Shea, 88mph, Darkness Dear Boy, Quick Henry, Moe’z Art, Ari the Stringbeater, Huckleberry, Future Loves Past, Cheri French, Jake Paxton, Vinny 10 Fingers, TKLB?, and Sasquanaut for bringing the heat and sweetly making love to our eardrums all night. No, I’m not exaggerating whatsoever, there were literally 13 other bands/artists that eagerly signed up to be a part of this event. And what a huge part they were! They were all spectacular. These bands really made this into the event I think we were all anticipating. I remember seeing the line up when the event was first announced and being unable to contain the excitement I had, not only for Japhy’s to be releasing a new EP but just to see all of these bands live in one place. Normally, we’re jumping from venue to venue just to try and catch half of these guys in a night. To have them all come together and put this party on for Japhy’s is an incredible feat. It also speaks volumes for the music scene here. Everyone works together to give us, the fans, something to remember and nobody fell short on this night. I still can’t get over how electrifying the night was from start to finish. The motivation, drive, and participation of all of these acts were not only obvious, but obviously, very appreciated. The crowd was running around like they were on fire all night and it was fairly evident that everyone had as great of a night as I did.

Japhy’s took the stage right around 11:30 Saturday evening. As if it hadn’t already been a gnarly evening, the band that arguably brings a lot of the gnarly into this scene hits the stage. The first note churns my spine and sends shivers up and down it like electric eels swimming through my muscles and tissue. The excitement and anticipation culminated in that first note. You could feel the vibe in the room punch you in the face as they got into their groove with the first intro. It was one of those unexplainable moments that makes you feel like you’re in exactly the right place at that moment in time. Japhy’s has a knack for turning the crowd into what I like to call, rock zombies. Fans, just getting rocked so hard, they lose all control of their frontal lobe. This set had everyone craving rock brains for days afterward, I’m sure. I still go into a sort of trance listening to the EP. It’s like a flashback to the show every time. This flashback, however, has nothing but amazement and joy. From start to finish, this set had surprise after surprise. Including a fantastic Kalen Lander appearance (as if there are any other kind). They had a huge turnout and took full advantage of it. The extravagance of the evening is due totally to the hard work of this band. They took the evening and made it a memory that none of us are too eager to forget any time soon.

I am sure a lot of the night is a haze of jubilation and satisfaction for most of us. Details are always hard to come by after an 11 hour party, but everything about this show stuck out as special. It’s going to be hard to top the orgy of good music, carnival games, dancing, singing, smiles, and laughter that was the Japhy’s Descent EP release party, however I have faith in all of you. I know that every event is going to be as breathtaking as the last and that’s what makes us all keep coming out. It is fantastic that we all put real life on hold because events like this aren’t something you want to hear about the next day. No amount of words can do this show justice. It is an experience that you have to witness to really understand. I would like to thank everyone for coming out, all the bands for being as incredible as always and entertaining us for eleven hours, and of course Japhy’s Descent for bringing us all together and melting our jaws to the floor with the unruly rock n’ roll that I hope will continue to be a driving force in this wonderful night life we all share. Until next time, cheers!