Archive for the ‘Beat Crusaders’ Category


Toru Hidaka Forms New Band The Starbems

April 2, 2013


Toru Hidaka has finally assembled his first band since the breakup of Beat Crusaders. The Starbems formed in December 2012, a couple of months after Hidaka left Monobright as their guitarist. There are some familiar faces in this new band, including Atsushi Kikuchi (guitar) from Fed Music, who Hidaka recorded an album with last year and Local Sound Style’s Yusuke Goto (guitar). Kazuma Koshikawa (guitar, ex KEGAWA-NO-MARIES) Junpei Terao (bass, Mujinto Records) and Hiroaki Kochi (drums, The Bench) complete The Starbems.

The Starbems are set to release Future Primitive EP on April 10. The first single “The Crakin” has a lot of elements we know and love from the Beat Crusaders with a little bit of hardcore thrown in!


J-Rock Fridays Vol. 70

May 4, 2012

Warming up to the 70s.

ZeZeZaZa- “Ponpidon”

I still don’t know what a “ponpidon” is but it’s been redone in all its dreamy glory for ZeZeZaZa’s first official CD. Shoegaze is off to a good start this year with this and Plastic Girl In Closet.

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Post Beat Crusaders: Toru Hidaka to put out album with FED Music

May 2, 2012

It’s been about two years since the Beat Crusaders broke up so it’s about time we check in on what the band members are up to. Frontman Toru Hidaka has kept busy since the split, starting with the supergroup TV Murders featuring Vola & the Oriental Machine’s Ahito Inazawa, Kaji Hideki and Kohei Dojima. Unfortunately, TV Murders only put out one cover song for New Rote’ka tribute album.

But Hidaka had plenty more projects to take care of, including producing Going Under Ground’s new album and Masafumi Isobe from Husking Bee’s solo debut. He also joined Monobright as their new guitarist/keyboardist and is apparently a professor at Nakasu Sangyo University.

Fans of Hidaka’s side project GALLOW with former Beat Crusaders members would be happy to know that Hidaka started a new acoustic project with the boys from Fed Music. Their first single “Double Fantasy” was released as a split single in October with Sayaka Kushibiki and Cubismo Grafico under the name Our Favorite Songs with a bonus cover song from each pairing. “Double Fantasy” was itself a GALLOW demo from way back and has pretty much the same vibe as Hidaka’s other project minus the fancy synths.

Hidaka and Fed Music announced that they would release a full album entitled Replica on May 16. Their new single “The Long Good-Bye” can be heard above and you can preorder the new album at CD Japan. More samples can found at GALLOW’s myspace.


Toru Hidaka & Fed Music Acoustic Ustream Session

October 22, 2011

Last week Toru Hidaka of the Beat Crusaders released a split single with Fed Music, Cubismo Grafico and Sayaka Kushibiki. Our Favorite Songs features two tracks from both combos. Toru Hidaka collaborated with Fed Music on “Double Fantasy” (originally a demo for Hidaka’s GALLOW project) and a cover of Andrew Gold’s “Lonely Boy.” Hidaka and Fed Music performed both songs on Ustream recently and a few other covers. Watch below.

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 32 The Masquerade

October 29, 2010

Looks like it’s time for another Halloween edition of J-Rock Fridays.  This time I’m only posting bands that wear masks.  I didn’t receive any suggestions last week (guess it’s time to finally shelve J-Rock Fridays) so it’s a bit shorter than I hoped.

Man With A Mission- “Don’t Lose Yourself”

Who let the dogs out?!  Er…werewolves.  Whatever they are they rock.

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Stuff To Look Forward To, October 2010

October 5, 2010

This month we have classic rock music, karate, b-sides, pretty ladies, and boys who wear masks over their face.  In other news I received an email for yesterday saying that I won tickets to see  X Japan in Chicago.  I heard they’re popular.

The Suzan- Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat

If you haven’t fallen in love with the girls through their single “Home,” then they’ve got a full-length album coming out just for you.  It was produced by Björn Yttling of Peter, Bjorn, and John who also “discovered” them a few years ago at SXSW or something.  They were all over New York promoting it last month and Fool’s Gold will release it at the end of the month. (myspace)

Isobe Masafumi- Sign In To Disobey

Everybody was kung-fu fighting.  Isobe Masafumi, best known as the vocalist of Husking Bee decided to pursue a solo career after Mars Eurythmics broke up earlier this year.  Toru Hidaka of the Beat Crusaders was brought in to produce this album.  Members of Asian Kung-Fu Generation, bloodthirsty butchers, Asparagus, toe, and more stopped by to play instruments.  Sounds a lot like Beat Crusaders. (myspace)

BEAT CRUSADERS- Rest Crusaders

Speaking of the Beat Crusaders, their “last album” is also coming out.  It features the singles “Situation,” “Let It Go,” and a lot of b-sides from their major label career.  There might be one or two new songs stuck in there.  There’s also another b-side collection named Lust Crusaders coming out the same day from their indie label and a live album/DVD in December.  Rest in plaid.

BIGMAMA- Roclassick

BIGMAMA is putting words to music…classic music.  Yeah, we got some Beethoven, Vivaldi, Bach, Dvorak, even Pachelbel.  It even comes with a music video DVD.   I always liked the violin in BIGMAMA so this “concept album” may prove interesting.  Their music video for “Eros Run,” their take on Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons (Spring) can be seen below.  (myspace)

avengers in sci-fi- dynamo

The avengers will release their third album and first full-length on a major label.  It includes a new version of the single “Delight Slight Lightspeed” and a bunch of new songs.  If you’ve enjoyed their futuristic sci-fi dance music lazer sound show before you pretty much know what you’re yourself into.  So fly your space shuttle to planet dynamo. (myspace)


Is that George Bush Sr. smoking a joint on the cover?  Looks like something Fat Wreck Chords would release.  And a parental advisory sticker on a Japanese CD?  They must be pretty damn profane.  Well they did tell us to f-off a lot in their blood-soaked PV for “Jack B.”   They’re pretty loud and obnoxious for a band named Silence Is Mine.  Let’s see how political this mini-album gets. (myspace)

Various Artists- World Penguin’s Carnival 2010

Famous post-rock label Penguinmarket Records are celebrating their fifth anniversary with a special compilation and seven days of concerts.  The compilation will feature mostly new tracks from the likes of wooderd chiarie, sgt., nenem, Clean of Core, oaqk, and some foreign bands.  Bound to be one of the best comps of the year! —————————————————————————————————————————————

Links to buy from:

avengers in sci-fi- dynamo: CD Japan

BIGMAMA- Roclassick: CD Japan

BEAT CRUSADERS- Rest Crusaders: CD Japan, Play-Asia

Masafumi Isobe- Sign In To Disobey: CD Japan

SiM- Living In Pain: CD Japan

The Suzan- Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat: Amazon

Various Artists- World Penguin’s Carnival 2010: CD Japan


Other stuff I may be interested in:

80kidz- Weekend Warrior: CD Japan, Play-Asia, Myspace

Ashigaru Youth- Nice to MEAT you: CD Japan, Myspace

Asshole Unite- Never Alone/Calling: CD Japan, Myspace

Droog- Violence: CD Japan, Myspace

Lacco Tower- Kaitai Shinsho: CD Japan, Myspace

People In The Box- Family Record: CD Japan, Myspace

Versailles- DESTINY -The Lovers-: CD Japan, Myspace


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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 27

August 20, 2010

Friday!  Watch your J-Rock videos.  Then go see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World!

Isobe Masafumi- “Do we know?”

Isobe Masafumi, formerly of Husking Bee and Mars Eurythmics, has decided to go solo and got Toru Hidaka of Beat Crusaders to tag along and produce his first single.  It’s a fun pop song with plenty of screeching synths.  The single release, which has a very Beat Crusaders-esque cover, also features peeps from Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Asparagus, and Cubismo Grafico Five.

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Stuff To Look Forward To, August 2010

August 4, 2010

August is here.  And there’s more Japanese albums I can’t afford.  If you’re in Chicago this weekend X-Japan will be at Lollapalooza.  I don’t have $300 to burn just to stand around in the sun but whatever makes you happy.

Beat Crusaders- Situation

If you haven’t already heard, the Beat Crusaders are breaking up.  Why do you have to leave me?  “Situation” is their final single.  Apparently, it will only be released as a DVD video.  The listing says it’s Region 2, which defeats the point of me buying it, but thanks for one last song.

Nature Living- Anonymous

Back in the day, Nature Living was the screamo band to listen to from Japan.  And then their popularity fell along with Purevolume’s before they even released their album.  But I bought it.  And liked it.  This is their second full-length (third if you count After All).  I doubt they’ll make it easy and put it on Interpunk again for us but I will find you.  (myspace)

the telephones- We Love Telephones

Yes, we do. Second major label album from the band and they’re just as crazy as ever.  I was starting to worry after that collaboration with MiChi.  But the singles have been good, especially “Kiss Me, Love Me, Kiss Me,” which was a pleasant diversion from their normal chaos.  They’ll bring the disco if you give them your love and voice.  (myspace)

Mass of the Fermenting Dregs- Zero Comma, Irotoridori No Sekai

Now this is a major label debut we should be worried about.  When they released the video for the title track a couple of weeks ago it was clear that they changed their sound to something more bubbly.  I don’t mind the direction they’re going in.  It’s kind of fun.  (myspace)

The Predators- This World

The Predators are back with a new mini-album.  This was the supergroup comprised of Sawao Yamanaka (the pillows), Jiro (GLAY), and Shinpai Nakayama (STRAIGHTENER).  Well, Shinpai left and Hirotaka Takahashi (ELLEGARDEN) stepped in on drums.  If you’re a fan of the pillows, they kind of sound the same, so go get it.  (myspace)

Scott Murphy- Guilty Pleasure 4

Damn you Scott Murphy.  You just got back together with ALLiSTER  and you’re already doing more solo stuff.  As always, the fourth in this series will cover a bunch of J-Pop songs, like Utada Hikaru’s “Flavor of Life.”   And hey, there’s even a Carpenters and The Slants cover.  And to be fair, the new ALLiSTER album kind of sucks.

Other Stuff

Masafumi Isobe- Do we know? (single)

NICO Touches the Walls- Sudden Death Game (single)

noanowa- Magical Circus

sakanaction- Identity (single)

Sebastian X- Bokura no Fantasy

Various Artists- Ghibli Rock

Various Artists- !Leche Con Cover! -A Tribute To No Use For A Name-

I was made to hit in America

Sometimes we can buy Japanese CDs at cheap American prices.  Good Charamel is going a little crazy this month by releasing the newest albums from Shonen Knife, Molice, LAZYgunsBRISKY, and TsuShiMaMiRe on August 31.  Selected songs from each band and DJ Sashimi will be on a compilation called I Love J-Rock released the same day.  That’s a lot of stuff!

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June 6, 2010

When you wake up to find your favorite band trending on Twitter, that can’t possibly be a good sign.  A weird video was uploaded to the Beat Crusaders website today featuring Taro Kato disposing of his band members masks, followed by a text announcement.  It basically says that September 4 will be the BEAT CRUSADERS last show and that they will be “spreading out,” a fancy way of saying disbanding.  Their last single Situation will be released August 4.



February 1, 2010

myspace band of the week

GALLOW is one of those bands that I’m shocked no one has heard of.  Why is that?  It’s the “neo-acoustic” side-project of Toru Hidaka of BEAT CRUSADERS fame.

GALLOW is essentially a revamp of Pesela-Quesela-In, Hidaka’s side project with thai (ex-BEAT CRUSADERS) that released one album in 2002.  That same year GALLOW formed.  Likewise, GALLOW has had a rotating cast of current and past BEAT CRUSADERS members, most notably kato and Yukio Iwahara.  Their first album Parkest! was released in 2006 and kato left the year after that.  Their next album Too Virgin!! was released in 2008 and Iwahara left the year after that.  GALLOW is yet again Hidaka’s solo project.

Hidaka describes his music as a “mixture of black music & white music with Asian feelings.”  Read the rest of this entry ?