“Point of Departure” LP by Javyon

Stomping to life with a potent vitality not often found on the FM dial in 2020, Javyon’s “Dust” arises from the silence in a smoky, distorted harmony that brings to mind the likes of Alice in Chains and Kyuss. Reviving a grungy rock sound as familiar to aficionados as it is fretwork-powered and entirely steeped in a filler-free aesthetic, Javyon isn’t playing jaded games with us in his debut album Point of Departure, a record that at times feels more like a collection of diary entries than it does a standard rock LP. It’s built for the enthusiast but accessible to the casual ear, and these days, that’s definitely not a common combination.

MORE ON JAVYON: javyon.com/

There’s a lot of angst in the vocal we hear in the acoustic ballads “In the Haze,” “Innocence” and “Remake Me” that contrasts with the cathartic edge sewn into the harmonies of the metal-centric “The Reckoning Day,” glowing “With Me” and punishing rocker “Outside the Room,” but the duality in the tracklist is part of the reason I was so attracted to this album from the get-go. You can’t foresee what’s coming around the next bend in Point of Departure, and while some of the twists are sonically jarring, there’s scarcely a moment of boredom to behold.

I really like the balance of the acoustic and electric material in this record, as it shows off a level of multidimensionality that isn’t very common in mainstream rock music nowadays. “Twisted Plot” brings as much of a thunderous wallop to the table as “On the Way Down” presents Javyon as a pop songwriter with the metal mentality required to save heavy music from its own bloated identity in 2020. There haven’t been many intriguing LPs in the hard rock genre lately, but this indie effort affords us a glimpse into what could become a really powerful discography.

MORE ON THE ALBUM: javyon.com/album/1584836/point-of-departure

The moderate pop song structures of “On the Way Down,” “In the Haze” and galloping “Overcome Now” are supported by a heavy sonic finish thanks to the mixing style utilized by producers, but I like that there isn’t any specific instance of overindulgence for us to get past in this album. Javyon is pretty efficient in his composing style, and more importantly, his execution from start to finish here. I admire his disciplined attitude, and to be frank, I wish it were something I heard a little more often in indie rock.

Point of Departure is only his first album, but the potential Javyon has as an artist is undeniably even in the most cursory of sit-downs with its tracklist. Ten songs, some of which have seen release as singles in the last couple of years (“Remake Me” debuted in 2018, as did “In the Haze”), give us more than a fair idea about who this artist is and who he wants to become in Point of Departure, and if he keeps his nose to the grindstone, it’s hard to picture his not finding a place within the hierarchy of contemporary underground rock gods.

Clay Burton