Archive for the ‘Polysics’ Category

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Absolute Polysics now available in the US

January 12, 2010

Myspace Records have released Polysics’ latest album Absolute Polysics today, January 12, on CD with no prior warning.  You can buy that at Amazon or Interpunk.  They will also be on tour in America at the end of the month through February.  This will be the band’s last tour with keyboardist Kayo.  Now would probably be a nice time to see them, especially since they go “on break” after this tour.  Tour dates can be found on this annoying splash image:

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Random J-Rock Updates #10

September 25, 2009

In an attempt to make more regular columns on J-Rock Explosion, Random J-Rock Updates returns!  I’ll probably be doing this every Wednesday from now on, starting the Wednesday after next Wednesday.  I compile these mainly from myspace Activity Stream and bulletins, sometimes there’s nothing to report for days.  I’ve also added a new feature to this column, Myspace Band of the Week.  This is a band that randomly added me on myspace or vice versa and doesn’t suck.  These are mostly small bands that don’t have any music videos for me to show off for J-Rock Fridays.  There’s probably more words in this paragraph than the actual news, but go on…

Asobi Seksu’s new album Rewolf will come out November 10 via Polyvinyl records.  The album was one of the last recorded at the legendary Olympic Studios.  Pre-order is available here.

-Muon has 4 new live tracks for free here.  They are currently writing their new studio album.

-Cornelius is producing original music for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

Absolute Polysics will be available on iTunes September 29.

Freaky Frog is putting out their debut album on November 4 in Japan.  The band is fronted by former BEAT CRUSADER umu.

Overground Acoustic Underground has a trailer for their new album.

-BoA’s US album was released again.

Maru Music will put out An Cafe’s new album BB Parallel World on October 20.  It will include a DVD with four music videos and a live clip.

-Dir en grey will be in North America this November.   FACT will be touring with Senses Fail this October.

MYSPACE BAND OF THE WEEK

BANK

BANK is an acoustic/jazz band from Too Young Records.

http://www.myspace.com/bankjp

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This Year In J-Rock: 2008

July 25, 2009

Most music blogs give you their year end lists days before Christmas.  Not here at J-rock Explosion.  We give it to you at Christmas in July.  There’s really no excuse for me this time.  I had the list mostly finished by the end of January, I was just too lazy to put pictures and words.  But I think it gave me enough time to fine tune the list, kick off the albums I never listened to since, etc.  Have fun!

Top 3 EPs

3. perfect piano lesson- Terra incognita

With Terra incognita, perfect piano lesson has successfully fused indie and post-rock.  From the quiet and reflective “stew,” to the slow building “untitled,” this is perfect piano lesson’s finest offering to date.  But we still have a couple of their upbeat rock songs, including the excellent closer “Electric City.”

http://www.myspace.com/perfectpianolesson

2. winnie- The Darkest Eternal Lights

With duel male/female vocals, winnie’s first release is a memorable one.  Their English vocals and pop rock tendencies are similar to bands like Jimmy Eat World.  It can be sweet (but tonally dark), as in “lost your sky” and “only time will tell,” or aggressive as in “suck my brain.” I’m not impressed with the single “Starlike Radio” and it’s all male vocals but the rest of the EP makes up for it.

http://www.myspace.com/winnieweb

1. Thursday/Envy- Split (US Release)

Temporary Residence really knocked themselves out on this release.  Not only did they bring over one of the best hardcore bands from Japan, but also one of the best from America (New Jersey to be exact).  As a fan of Thursday previously, I was impressed with their post-rock offerings and “As He Climbed the Dark Mountain,” which made it to their newest album.  Envy’s side started off slowly with a nice post-rock intro and then burst into full on post-hardcore for the rest of their material.  I was surprised, there wasn’t much screaming on Insomniac Doze and then they start resembling the band I loved on All the footprints.  It will also be memorable to me for two reasons, 1) It’s the first album I bought on vinyl and 2) I made a music video for envy’s “an umbrella fallen into fiction” for my television production class (more on that in another post!).

http://www.myspace.com/thursday

http://www.myspace.com/officialenvy

Top 10 Albums

10. the telephones- Japan

The Telephones took us to the urban disco on their debut mini-album and now they bring us back to their home country on their debut album.  I was surprised how chill some of the songs on this album were, in particular the single “Free Throw.”  However, there’s plenty of crazy songs like “DaDaDa” and “sick rocks.”  1, 2, 3, 4, can’t you understand?

http://www.myspace.com/thetelephonesjapan

9. sgt.- Stylus Fantasticus

Ever since post-rock became scene a couple of years ago, bands have constantly tried to infuse different genres into it, jazz being prevalent.  Well, most of these bands just ended up sounding like…jazz.  To this day, sgt. has been the only band that has successfully incorporated jazz and post-rock.  “Saisei to Misshitsu” is a prime example of how to combine horns into a perfectly good post-rock song.

http://www.myspace.com/sgtofficial

8. noughts and exes- Act One, Scene One (US Release)


Why are you including a Chinese band in your top 10 Japanese albums?  Because I love Joshua Wong.  Not to mention, their song “A Minor To A Major” made it’s way to MTV’s Real World (it’s true, I sat through a full hour of this show.  It was horrible.).  Can you say that about any other Japanese band I posted on this blog?  Nope.  Noughts and exes isn’t as good as Wong’s previous band, Whence He Came, but it serves up some nice indie rock.  And I already decided “Everything In You” will be my wedding song, in like 20 years.

http://www.myspace.com/noughtsandexes

7. Beat Crusaders- popdod


It’s been ten years since the band (or just Toru Hidaka) have been together, time to put out a new album!  I’m actually surprised how quickly this album came out, since “Winterlong” was the only single (EPopMaking had soooo many more).  Despite the rush job, there’s plenty of classics on here, like “Time Flies, Everything Goes,” “Chinese Jet Set” and “Work It Out.”

6. Spangle call Lilli line- Isolation

Kana Otsubo has a truly beautiful voice and ISOLATION proves it.  During the fall semester, I went through 2 or 3 straight weeks of listening to this in the morning on the way to school.  There’s nothing like watching the sun rise up with ISOLATION as the soundtrack.  It’s impossible to listen to this and not be put in a good mood.

http://www.myspace.com/spanglecalllilliline

5. Polysics- We ate the machine (US Release)

Grower.  Not a word I thought I would associate with a Polysics album.  I was disappointed with the J-pop direction they seemed to be heading with in “Rocket” and “Pretty Good,” not to mention “You You You” and “Catch on Everywhere” from Karate House, but this album is just as crazy as any of their others.  We ate the machine includes the band’s first endeavor in disco (“irotokage”), breakcore (“arigatou”), shoegaze (“Blue Noise”), and their biggest breakdown yet at the end of “Dry or Wet.”  Yeah, the Polysics are just as spastic as ever.

http://www.myspace.com/polysicsna

4. Zazen Boys- Zazen Boys 4

If you’re looking for another Japanese hipster band ala Cornelius, Zazen Boys is up your alley.  Zazen Boys 4 is the Zazen Boys’ fourth self-titled album and my favorite to date.  They hooked me right away with the electronic “Asobi.”  The rest of the album is full of eccentricities, the funky “Weekend,” the speak easy vibe in “Taratine,” and the 10 minute dance track “I don’t want to be with you.”

http://www.myspace.com/zazenboys

3. kacica- Mosaic (US Release)

The first name that pops up when I think Japanese shoegaze is kacica.  Mosaic is simply beautiful. Misato yamanaka has a way of sounding like an angel through peaceful musical landscapes or chaos.  Just hearing her voice amidst the hardcore tribal drumming in the title track  “mosaic” gives me shivers.  And I don’t even care if the only way I can understand her English is if I’m reading the booklet alongside it. I highly recommend buying all of their CDs off CD Baby.

http://www.myspace.com/kacicajapan

2. capsule- More! More! More!

Capsule only had time to record one album in 2009, but it’s one of their best. I knew I was in for something special when I watched the 7 minute “JUMPER” music video.  They have successfully transitioned from shibuya-kei to techno/dance and I’m surprised they haven’t attracted Daft Punk fame yet.

http://www.myspace.com/capsulemyspace

1. mutyumu (夢中夢)- イリヤ ~ il y a ~

Opera.  Death Metal.  Post-rock.  Just some of the genres mutyumu clashes together on their sophomore album.  Throw in guest appearances from midori and World’s end girlfriend and you know you’re in for one hell of an album.  Il y a has garnered some praise in the west via the post-rock blogosphere.  In a few years, I think they may even have a large cult following like Mono or Envy.

http://www.myspace.com/mutyumujapan

Close Calls:

Akeboshi- Roundabout- If I had to pick a top artist of the year, it would be Akeboshi.  Like many others, my first introduction to him was Naruto years ago.  Despite loving “Wind,” I have largely ignored him until now.  Akeboshi puts most folk musicians to shame.  Meet Along The Way is one of the best albums of the past five years.  Unfortunately, Roundabout is the only material he put out in 2008.  Even though it’s just b-sides, it includes two of my favorite songs of his, “One Step Behind the Door” and “Along the Line.”

avengers in sci-fi- Science Rock- Dance to the sci-fi music! http://www.myspace.com/avengersinscifi

Comeback My Daughters- EXPerience- An excellent mix of folk and indie rock from the Pizza of Death veterans. http://www.myspace.com/comebackmydaughters

Cornelius- Gum EP– The best song off of 2006’s Sensuous was not on the album.  Thankfully, “Cue” made it to this little EP.  Not to mention the “Eat White Paint” remix of “Fit Song.” http://www.myspace.com/corneliusofficial

enie meenie- Fantasy of Life– Enie meenie has been known for synth crazy powerpop, but they take it down a notch on their latest album, substituting some synth with saloon style piano.  One of my favorite punk-pop bands.  http://www.myspace.com/eniemeenie

GALLOW- Too Virgin!!– It’s no secret, I love the Beat Crusaders.    GALLOW is Toru Hidaka’s and Yukio Iwahara’s “neo-acoustic” side project.  If you’re familiar with the Beat Crusader’s synthesized horns, imagine them over acoustic guitar and you have GALLOW.  In the short month between the release of this and popdod, Toru Hidaka’s English improved ten times.  Peculiar.  http://www.myspace.com/gallowjapan

Mass of the Fermenting Dregs- Mass of the Fermenting Dregs– A powerful debut mini-album from the female duo.  The girls can rock.  http://www.myspace.com/motfd

midori- Aratame mashite, Hajime mashite, Midori desu– Okay, I admit, one of the reasons this didn’t make my top 10 is because the album cover is a naked anime character.  But midori is still as crazy as ever.  Who doesn’t love girls screaming over jazz music?

Muon- The New Mutants- This deserves a mention just for “This Is Not the End.”  Not to say that’s the only good track on the album.  Did I mention it’s free? http://www.myspace.com/muonmagick

Saw Loser- Hits Hit the Fan– 2008 may have seen the last of Saw Loser, but not before releasing cover album genius.  From old school hits “Karma Chameleon” and “Fly Me To the Moon,” to James Blunt’s recent pop sensation “You’re Beautiful,” Hits Hit the Fan is a blast.  They even made the Friends theme song tolerable. http://www.myspace.com/sawloser


For more close calls, check out my RYM list!  http://rateyourmusic.com/list/slickwataris/best_of_2008

Now I hate to leave you without a look at 2009, so here are my top 5 albums at the moment:

5. Ogre You Asshole- Pinhole– A single, but my favorite release of theirs so far.

4. FACT-FACT- Uneven at times, but I’m glad there’s another band that managed to crack into the American market.

3. Utada- This Is the One– I didn’t like this one as much as Exodus, but it’s still pretty catchy.  I think she even managed to crack the Billboard 100 with this one.

2. 80kidz- This Is My Shit– If you like Daft Punk or Justice, you’ll love this band.  A lot of fun techno songs.

1. buddhistson- SLOWDANCE ~wisely and slow they stumble that dance fast~- The second I heard buddhistson was recording a new album, I knew it would shoot up to the top of my list.  Two perfect records in a row, congrats.

Well, that’s it for this year.  Hopefully next year’s will come earlier.  If you want a leg up, here’s my 2009 list on rate your music.  Or come back for the return of This Month In J-Rock (next week?).  Here’s some great 2008 music videos to tide you over: Read the rest of this entry ?

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Random J-Rock Updates #6: Preorder Madness!!

September 30, 2008

This is a very special segment of J-Rock Updates.  Obviously, Dir en grey is the big news here but I didn’t want them to have the satisfaction of having their own post.  Luckily, there’s three more bands that will be releasing albums in the US in the near future.

Dir en grey’s new album Uroboros will be released through The End Records on November 11 in America, a day before Japan.  In addition to the regular CD/vinyl/digital release, a deluxe CD version will be released with a bonus DVD.  All that can be preordered here.  More info including tracklisting is available on their blog.

-The Thursday/Envy split EP can now be preordered from Temporary Residence or MerchDirect.  The EP will be a combo CD-vinyl package.

-The CD and digital version of Polysics’ We Ate the Machine was released today.  It can be ordered at amazon and interpunk.

-The debut album known as Noble by Versailles -Philharmonic Quartet– will be released in the US by Maru Music.

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Polysics- Karate House/We ate the machine (US Release!)

July 3, 2008

Myspace Records to the rescue! Karate House and We ate the machine will be released on double vinyl August 19th. The CD versions will come out on September 30th. The press release is a little confusing but here it is regardless: Read the rest of this entry ?

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Polysics-Rocket

November 21, 2007

Here’s this week’s release of the week.  Polysics new single “Rocket” comes out in Japan today.  It is used as the end theme song for the anime  Tales of Agriculture.  From what I gather at Anime News Network, the premise of the series is a college student who “can see and communicate with bacteria and other microorganisms.” Sounds trippy.

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Polysics album out today!

October 9, 2007

Polysics debut album for Myspace Records comes out today! Polysics or Die!!!! Vista can be streamed in it’s entirity on their myspace.

Tracklist:
1. Electric Surfin’ Go Go
2. New Wave Jacket (Reform)
3. Baby Bias
4. Go Ahead Now!
5. Kaja Kaja Goo
6. I My Me Mine
7. You-You-You
8. Catch On Everywhere
9. Coelakanth Is Android
10. My Sharona
11. Black Out Fall Out
12. Shizuka Is A Machine Doctor
13. Tei! Tei! Tei!
14. Each Life Each End
15. New Wave Hotline
16. Peach Pie On The Beach

http://www.myspace.com/polysicsna

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Polysics pre-order

October 5, 2007

You can pre-order Polysics new album Polysics or Die!!!! Vista over at interpunk for $11.50.  The album comes out in stores via Myspace Records next Tuesday October 9th.  Personally, I’m going to wait until Sunday in case it pops up in any sales papers (Best Buy, Target, etc.).

http://myspace.com/polysicsna

http://www.interpunk.com/item.cfm?Item=151782&

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Polysics on Myspace Records

September 14, 2007

So for those of you who were waiting for Tofu Records to release Polysics’ latest album Karate House, wait no longer.  Myspace Records will release Polysics or Die!!!! Vista on October 9th.  This includes tracks from their previous releases as well as the singles from their latest Japan-only album, Karate House.  This 16-track album is basically a re-release of their “best of” album Polysics or Die!!!! with their latest singles such as “Catch on Everywhere.”  The album will also be packed with a bonus dvd with music videos and live performances.  Polysics will also be touring North America on Myspace’s Music Tour with Say Anything and Hello Goodbye. 

http://www.myspace.com/polysicsna

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Karate House!

February 28, 2007

While I patiently wait for the new Polysics album to leak today, take a look at the singles off this album. There’s no US street date so far, hopefully Tofu Records will announce it before summer.

Electric Surfin’ Go Go

You You You

Catch On Everywhere

what was your favorite single?