Every month or so, I head up from my teeny town in the middle of nowhere and head into the closest available center of civilization, Nagoya, and go music hunting.
It’s always fun, going from listening station to listening station and seeing what’s new, what’s good, what’s being suggested. Since I’ve been doing this for a while, I’ve found quite a bit of great music doing this, but it’s a bit dull not sharing it with anyone, so I’m going to start posting reviews of recent purchases and discoveries. Maybe sometimes with some time to digest them.
So, since I’m starting out with a backlog, anyway, I might as well play catch up from the get-go, and post my October outing goodies.
This trip was primarily so I could pick up the new Kenshi Yonezu album (which I did, pictured lower right) and while that one was great, honestly, I’m still digesting it. But I’ll get to that in a moment.
First up is Furutachi Yutaro‘s, of Salovers fame, solo project mini-album, CHIC HACK. I’ve always dug this guy’s voice, but never fallen that hard into Salovers. When I was giving this a listen, I immediately was hooked by the sense of frustrated intensity I got from the first song, “Tanderon,” with lyrics speaking of only being young for so long, like shattering stardust. I was intrigued, but not quite sold. Go to the next song, “Nettaiya no Koto,” and what’s the first thing I hear? Brass! OH YES! I was so amused to hear such a drastic change from the previous song. In short, I really liked the variety of sounds presented in this all too short mini-album. I don’t know if this is very in line with his stuff in Salovers, but this mini-album spans a vast array of genres in only six songs.
Highlights: “Tanderon” and “Thunderbolt”
Next is Lucky Tapes album, The Show. Immediately, I was hooked by the super cheerful disco-esque strings of the first track, “All Because of You.” Honestly, this is probably one of the happiest songs in my entire library. Definitely the magic song to listen to on a crappy day. Great pick-me-up. Moving on through the album, I greatly enjoyed the bass magic. These guys are reminiscent of Kirinji, though not quite as impressive vocally, and Great3, who I love more than most things on this planet. Also, funfact, they are on the same record label as Chocolat & Akito (the latter being vocalist of Great3). I am SO happy I picked this up.
Highlights: “Yureru Dress” and “Peace and Magic”
After that, I picked up Bremen, by Kenshi Yonezu who is a mad genius, and though musically, I do feel that this release is a tad weaker than the previous godlike perfection that was Yankee, I may be slightly influenced by the reminiscence I get from the first track, “Unbelievers,” to some western stuff I’ve heard in commercials back home, but nothing I can specifically put my finger on just yet…I wanna say MGMT-like sounds, but that’s not quite it. My friend pointed out that it has the same chord progression as a Coldplay song. But that wasn’t the similarity that keeps tickling at me. Anyway, once you get past the intro, though, that sound fades away, it’s just there’s still that feeling like I know this sound, and it kills a bit of the enthusiasm for me.
Beyond this, the problem with his releases is that they’re so dense. What you hear is only a fraction of what makes him so brilliant. Yes, most music nowadays has lyrics, but the quality varies so dramatically that some bands, it doesn’t even matter what they’re saying. That is anything but the case here. The lyrics composed for Yankee told one hell of an interconnected story, and honestly, it’s pretty rare to encounter something like that. So, as I said earlier, I am still digesting this release…haven’t combed through the lyrics with a translating comb just yet, so can’t quite cast a definitive judgement there yet.
Highlights: “Undercover,” “Ame no Gairo ni Yakou Mushi,” and “Blue Jasmine”
Moving on, we have Taiko Super Kicks, this mini-album caught me instantly. Their sound was highly reminiscent of Ogre You Asshole, who are not only amazing on their own, but also themselves remind me of Pinback, who I adore. I honestly wasn’t planning on buying anything else, and really shouldn’t have even touched the listening stations at Tower Records after spending so much already at HMV, but I couldn’t stop myself. The moment the first track Reikan starts, it sets just the right chill tone for the next five songs. Carefully straddling the line between hopeful and sad. Honestly, it’s all about that bass being brought more to the forefront. Now, I’m definitely a person who listens to a lot of music that most people would find a bit depressing. I find it beautiful, though. But this album has just the right amount of chill to make the long bus ride back from Nagoya a lot more enjoyable. In related news: they have a full album coming out on December 23rd! PREORDER TIME!
Also pictured, bonus disk I got along with it at Tower Records that came with a remix of Reikan and another song. Yay!
Highlights: “Reikan,” “Yoru,” and “Machi”
Things I tragically put back:
Reichi “Chabo” Nakaido’s first album in 15 years, CHABO. But only because I had already spent way too much money as it is. It was a very close thing…don’t worry bby, I’ll be back for you. ;D
Analogue Fish – Almost a Rainbow. Holy crap, never thought I’d want to buy an Analogue Fish album, never could get into them in the past, so I was AMAZED that this album caught me so much. I’ll keep my eye on it.
Quruli – Futatsu no Sekai. Precious precious Quruli, WHAT? What is with this Rumiko Takahashi thing? I don’t….I just…*sigh* I don’t even. I don’t like any of her work, but holy lord do I love me some Quruli. I’ll wait until the album. ❤