Archive for the ‘Electrico’ Category

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J-Rock Fridays Vol. 1

August 21, 2009

Earlier this year, I started a mini-column called J-Rock Fridays on another blog.  Obviously, it never caught on.  So in order to breathe new life in this blog, I decided to recreate it here bigger and better.  For now this will be a biweekly column.  Ideally, I would want a couple posts in between J-Rock Friday columns and I can’t promise that if it was done weekly.  So for now, sit back and enjoy videos from some upcoming (or dead) Japanese bands!

4 Bonjour’s Parties- “Pins and Needles”

Pretty cool single-camera video.  Yes, this video was recorded live.  I can’t imagine how many hours were put into preparing this. Sure, the audio isn’t that great, and the video definitely not polished, but it has that indie charm the major’s can never reproduce. http://www.myspace.com/4bonjoursparties

1000say- “Lostman”

I was told that if I liked school food punishment, I’d like this band too.  I can see where they were coming from.  The electronics are similar, but I think 1000say has  better pop vocals than sfp.  Overall, a fun song and a fun band.  http://www.myspace.com/1000say

Electrico- “We Satellites”

The latest single from the Singaporean trio.  It’s filled with horrible CGI of space debris.  The band themselves don’t show up until half way through when a broken shard of glass floats across the screen.  And then they kind of disappear.  The song itself sounds a lot like U2.  I really don’t know what’s holding them back.  They’re signed to Warner, but they’re content to stay in Asia.  Every other day, “electrico we satellites download” pops up in my search engine terms.  I’m sorry, I don’t have it.  Apparently you can download it at  Wayango.  But it’s region blocked so don’t bother.  http://www.myspace.com/electricomusic

PARMS- “Stolen My Heart”

The first music video from PARMS.  From the looks of it, the footage is taken from their 2009 US tour with Park Ranger.  I thought “Sunlight” would have made a better single, but this one is OK too.  They’re finally putting their debut album out in Japan this October, even though it’s been available in America since February.  Oh well!  http://www.myspace.com/parmsmusic

Shing02- “Wankyoku feat Emi Meyer and Motoki Yamaguchi”

This is the first time I’ve seen Shing02 perform with a drummer, a beautiful woman, and in Japanese.  Maybe I should check out more of his albums.  Shing02 is most known for his work on Samurai Shamploo, but he’s worked with a lot of other famous rappers and DJ’s since then.  I really like this song and hopefully he’ll gain more recognition overseas. http://www.myspace.com/shing02

Versus the Night- “Peace Out, Girl Scout”

I’ll leave you guys with something a little more heavy.  This recently released “tribute” video is taken from their farewell EP So This Is Goodbye. They had so much more to contribute to the hardcore scene, but at least they went out on top of their game.  And it looks like their singer is finally putting out an album with his new band InhalePS: I was pleasantly surprised that Shima from buddhistson edited this video.  http://www.myspace.com/versusthenight

See you again next, next week!

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Random J-Rock Updates #8

December 7, 2008

Sometimes I feel like I report on the same bands, but that’s okay!  In this segment, we have two new US releases announced for February and a Grammy nominee!

parms debut album will come out February 17 on Parrot On a Porch Records in the US.

-Two new Winnie songs on myspace, “sweep” and “first class speed of light.”  Their new EP Headquarter is due out January 14.

Dir en grey has a live DVD coming out!  A Knot of is due out February 3 in the US.

-I uploaded two new songs to the box.net player, “Along the Line” by Akeboshi and “Mosaic” by kacica.

Electrico has a new video for “Hail To the Friends.”

1978 Is the New Year

Cornelius is nominated for “Best Surround Sound Album” for the 51st annual Grammy Awards.

buddhistson’s new album SLOWDANCE -wisely and slow, they stumble that dance fast- will be released Januray 7 in Japan.  A new song “Eyes in the Dark” is on their myspace.

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Random J-Rock Updates #5

September 14, 2008

Hey guys.  I’m going to try to do these “news updates” more frequently.  I just started writing This Month in J-Rock: August 2008 (I know! Late again!) and it should be done by Friday.  I can tell you now that the column will include four album and six singles reviews.  Much less than last time but it was a short release month to begin with.

Electrico have two new songs on their myspace, “Soul Not Science” and “Hail To the Friends” from their new album We Satellites.  WHEN WILL THIS COME OUT IN AMERICA.

Asparagus uploaded a live video for “Dead Song.”

-Looks like BEAT CRUSADERS have a tribute album coming out!  They’re also contributing to the  tribute album for the legendary punk band Snuff.

-Clips from Zazen Boys’ 4th album are now streaming on Myspace.  I just downloaded the full album and it’s one of this year’s best.

-I added several new J-Rock links under Blogroll, including my BEAT CRUSADERS fansite in case you missed it.

-Filipino screamo act TYPECAST have posted a blog containing their 2008 Baybeats performance.

-If you were wondering what happened to Whence He Came, their myspace status is now “…is no more. Thank you all!” 😦

Asian Kung-Fu Generation will release their new album Surf Bungaku Kamakura on November 11.  This will be their second full-length album of the year.

Versailles have officially changed their name to Versailles -Philharmonic Quintet- (how full of it are they?) for copyright reasons.  Their new single “Prince” can be downloaded for free at MaruMusic and HearJapan.

The Cherry Coke$ have a new album out.  How the @#$% did I miss that?

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Random J-Rock Updates #2

July 5, 2008

In this week’s random updates, you will find news about the pillows, new Vuzz Vegas Queen and Die!! Die!! Color!!! songs, HALCALI and Versailles interviews, and why I’m boycotting Tokyopop.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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This Month in J-Rock: June 2008

July 1, 2008

My latest attempt at a listen and review article. The plan is to post one of these at the end of every month with my opinions on this month’s releases. In addition, at the end of every post you will find my “hype” list for the following month. However, thanks to Wizard World and Wall-E last weekend this first one has come a little late! But enjoy it anyway. Comments, etc. would be appreciated. I added myspace pages where available so you can listen to the artist. I was going to post videos but youtube deletes them the day after I post them so…why bother. Any release with a (*) after the review is highly recommended.

THE SINGLES

DOPING PANDA- Beautiful Survivor

DOPING PANDA’s latest single comes 3 months after their 3rd full length album Dopamaniacs. “Beautiful Survivor” is your typical Dopan song with sweeping synth beats and a catchy chorus. The b-side “We say we love each other” has a more laid back r&b style. Over-all, this isn’t a groundbreaking single that brings DOPING PANDA into new musical territory like “Miracle” or “I’ll Be There” did but will undoubtedly please the fan’s fix.

http://www.myspace.com/dopingpanda

Genki Rockets- Star Line/Smile

And then it dawned it on me half way through “Smile,” Genki Rockets sounds a lot like Hilary Duff. The lyrics are cheesy and sound like it was written by a pre-teen. Yeah I was a little disappointed with this one. Last summer, this “computer experiment” released the really great “Heavenly Star” and “Breeze” singles which had a great techno beat and were super happy. Although “Smile” was a let down, “Star Line” was pretty great. The song has a rock beat but has a very catchy chorus. The remixes are fun but absolutely forgettable. Their first full-length is supposed to come out tomorrow so I still have hope.

http://www.myspace.com/genkirockets

NICO Touches the Walls- The Bungy

A random download worth noting. “The Bungy” is a really fun song with a lot of handclaps and country twanging. The b-side “Simon Said” is much slower with a lot more emphasis on vocals. The band hasn’t released a full length album yet but have another new single coming out in August. They’ve been put on my radar. (*)

THE ALBUMS

Asian Kung-Fu Generation- Imada Minu Asu Ni

Arriving three months after their last full-length album, I didn’t see this coming. Seriously. I just found it randomly on my torrent site and assumed it was an old release with higher bit rate. Oh well. This mini-album compiles 6 b-sides from World, World, World. It sounds a lot like their old songs but none of them are very distinguishing or memorable. I can see why they were left on the cutting room floor.

ketchup mania- F.L.A.G.

I came into this album expecting ska but what I got was uber fast punk rock with a tint of metal. Songs here are simple with repetitious lyrics but that’s not a bad thing. Many songs such as “BAD! BAD! BAD!,” “Please! Marry Me,” and “Just a Mess!” essentially repeat the title of the song over and over. Now that you mention it, half the songs have an exclamation point in their title! Song’s like “Ping-Pong” venture into metal territory and sounds similar to Maximum the Hormone. It’s hard not to smile when listening to this album. From track one, Ketchup Mania has never backed down on this album. Each song is faster and catchier than the one before it. With their increased exposure in America, I think we can expect great things from them in the future. (*)

http://www.myspace.com/ketchupmaniajf

Locofrank- BRAND-NEW OLD-STYLE

As the album title implies, if you expected anything less than the sweet pop-punk they’ve always made, you’re a fool. The new album continues with their full Engrish vocals that are more incomprehensible than ever. Seriously, if an English speaking population can’t make sense of your lyrics, why bother? It just sounds a lot like whining.

http://www.myspace.com/locofrank

The Novembers- Picnic

Gotta love picnics. A smorgasbord or sandwiches, cheeses, bread, etc. Simply put, The Novembers debut album brings nothing unique to the picnic table. It’s the same J-rock song over and over. It doesn’t get interesting until the singer starts screaming half-way through the ninth track. As disappointed as I was, I gotta give props to the artist who drew the album cover for this and their debut EP. Very neat.

http://www.myspace.com/thenovembers11

Perfect Piano Lesson- Terra Incognita

I have to say, I was disappointed the first time I listened to this band. Perhaps because their song titles implied “dance band” and what I got was “indie rock.” I’m proud to say my opinion of perfect piano lesson has changed dramatically with this release. They have took on a post-rock atmosphere with this latest mini-album. Actually, they remind me of one of my greatest J-Rock finds from last year–eksperimentoj. Although piano’s songs are shorter, both bands sing in ok English and have great guitar work (and they both have an epic 7-minute track by the name “untitled”). “Death At the Library” is great and I love the gang vocals on “Electric City.” (*)

http://www.myspace.com/perfectpianolesson

the pillows- Pied Piper

Just because you’re signed to a major label doesn’t mean you have to make shitty pop music! “I am scarecrowoh,” remember that horror of a tune from their last album? Well, luckily the pillows realized it was shit and moved back to their rock n’ roll roots with PIED PIPER. This is such a dramatic improvement it has actually rejuvenated my interest in the band and they’re one of my favorites again. The album contains the singles “New Surrender,” “Ladybird Girl,” and my favorite, the heavy ska influenced “Tokyo Bambi” featuring the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. In addition we get another great instrumental named “Tokyo Zombie” and even a little cello in “Last Holiday.” My other favorite is easily the hand clap laden “Purple Apple” which has been on repeat the past few days. (*)

http://www.myspace.com/thepillows

PICK OF THE MONTH

BEAT CRUSADERS-popdod

What a surprise, he chose the new BEAT CRUSADERS album as the pick of the month? Indeed. Coming a year after their last album, EPopMaking, and after only one single (wasn’t it like 5 or 6 last time?) “Winterlong,” this came as quite a surprise. Popdod celebrates the 10th anniversary of the band as well as Toru Hidaka’s 40th birthday. The album starts off with their latest single “Time Flies, Everything Goes,” a feel good song. In fact, they all are. If you’ve ever listened to the band before, you’ll know to expect. My favorite songs are “Work It Out,” the traditional 1 experimental techno song per BECR album, and “Chinese Jet Song,” which has a great call and response chorus. “Summer End” is a bit more mainstream rock, and feels similar to past songs “Say Goodnight” or “Zenith.” The album ends with “Jive” whose style hails back to their good old indie days.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR NEXT MONTH

Electrico- We Satellites: Third full length album. Considering that I haven’t been able to find their first two albums legally or illegally, I doubt I will be able to review this.

ELLEGARDEN- ELLEGARDEN BEST (1999-2008 ): Weak. Very Weak. First off, it should be titled “1999-2006” since they haven’t released anything since Eleven Fire Crackers. You will be missed.

enie meenie- Fantasy of Life: At least this band will carry ELLEGARDEN’s torch. Semi-cheesy pop-punk with neat synthesizers. They remind me of old school Motion City Soundtrack.

GALLOW- TOO VIRGIN!!: This band is in one way, shape, or form related to Toru Hidaka of BEAT CRUSADERS. Therefore it must be good.

GENKI ROCKETS- I -Heavenly Star-: This has been delayed several months now so we’ll see.

Saw Loser- Hits Hit the Fan: These guys have been blowing up around Asia the past few years. This album contains 10 classic cover songs such as “You’re Beautiful” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”

Versailles- Noble: “OMG, he’s excited about a visual-kei band?” Yeah…I was shocked too. This is their 2nd shot at a “full-length” album. They remembered “The Revenant Choir” this time.

See you next month!

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Electrico-Everybody’s Here

April 25, 2008

Make sure you download  “Everybody’s Here,” the new track by Electrico. “A song written for youths or anybody who feels lost, desolated, low in self-esteem, in despair, all the negative things we face. It’s a song about hope and opening up to people who can help. You are not alone!!”

http://www.myspace.com/electricomusic

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Electrico

February 26, 2007

This is a rock band from Singapore that’s sings in peeerfect English. I’ve been listening to them on myspace since the summer for the lack of finding any of their tunes elsewhere. They’re going to be playing at SXSW 2007. “Love in the New Wave” is available to download on their artist page for free.

http://myspace.com/electricomusic