Sunny Car Wash – Kill Me | Music Video Monday

Sunny Car Wash is a young indie emo-pop band from Utsunomiya in Tochigi Prefecture, just a ways north of Tokyo, that has recently been making a big splash. They’re starting to sell out small venues and have just released their first minialbum last month, which you can buy at Tower Records or HMV. Their sound is an upbeat pop-rock groove with warbling oft-out-of-tune emotional singing from band frontman Adam. Kill Me is by far their catchiest song, though the music video features an older version from their demos. It was rerecorded on the album with their new drummer who replaced their previous drummer Naho, who left the band to concentrate on her other group Lucie,Too.

 

Next Music From Tokyo 11

On for the second time this year, Next Music From Tokyo will bring five indie bands on a four-stop tour of Canada. The genre of music over the years covers a pretty wide range, but often features bands with female vocals, math rock, experimental/noise bands, and most recently underground idols. Here’s the line up coming this October:

JYOCHO

Formed in 2016 by Daijiro (formerly of math pop band Uchu Combini), this band has yet to actually play a live show. The recording singer for their first minialbum which dropped in December was disinclined to play shows, and now that they have a new singer for a live line up, their first gigs will be on this edition of NMFT. They are mathy and light, and a bit folky. Inclusion of a flute is a unique highlight.

Gozen Sanji to Taikutsu

Returning to Canada again after touring on NMFT volume 8. They have a dark alternative sound, occasionally whimsical, occasionally reminiscent of Showa Japanese pop. The music video I linked is their most recent, but most of their songs sound fairly different since most songs are written by vocalist/keyboardist Anisonin and not guitarist Hoshi.

o’summer vacation

This band I’m unfamiliar with but seems to be a kind of noise rock three piece band with just drums, vocals, and bass. Twitter lists their location as Kyoto and Facebook indicates they’ve been going since 2010.

Koutei Camera Girl Drei


This will be the third time in a row an (anti) idol group has made it into the lineup, so perhaps that will be a mainstay of future NMFT as well. From what I can tell, Koutei Camera Girl was the original version of this idol group, and at some point they renamed to Koutei Camera Girl Zwei (Koutei Camera Girl 2). They broke up in January of this year, but are reforming with new members under the name Koutei Camera Girl Drei (3). Their sound seems to be a mix of typical idol music with rapping, but the song I linked has more of a lo-fi quality.

Nuito

Nuito are a big name in the Japanese math rock scene who were on a hiatus from 2009 until last year. They are a bit on the aggressive side with a helping of progressive rock and twangy guitar.

Oct 6 Toronto @ Tranzac
Oct 7 Toronto @ Lee’s Palace
Oct 8 Montreal @ Divan Orange
Oct 11 Vancouver @ KW Studios

Music Video Roundup

Milkyway – Jigoku de aitai

Lead track from their new minialbum dropping next month. This is the best Milkway song in a long time! The title translates to “I want to meet you in hell” and was inspired after Kaori got dumped.

 

Regal Lily – Transistor Radio

Also from a minialbum coming next month. A little poppier than their usual style but very enjoyable.

 

Polkadot Stingray – Synchronisica

A second music video off their recent 4-track EP. As always, a very polished video and more dressing up in various costumes.

 

Katokitto – Kamisama no hakarai

Third video from their minialbum that came out just with week — the first with a real director, Katou Mani, who does a lot of indie/pro music videos. This whole mini goes in some interesting directions with their sound.

 

Okazaki Taiiku – Kanjou no pixel

Another hilarious video from Taiiku last month.

 

Sappy – Orange&fall

Finally, last week’s video from Sappy out of Kobe. I believe this is the first time mentioning them, but they are a five-piece pop band heavy on the keyboards. This isn’t my favorite number by them.

Review: tricot – 3

Last month marked the release of 3, the aptly named third full-length album from tricot. The album was accompanied by a huge push from the band and their team at Bakuretsu Records, both abroad and at home. The domestic release features two versions: a deluxe art collaboration with artist Cho Hikaru and a minimalist CD with no lyrics booklet and simply the number “3” printed on a clear jewel case. The latter retailed for 1500 yen, putting it at about half the price of a typical major album in Japan, presumably hoping to reach the widest audience. They also partnered with Big Scary Monsters for a European release and Topshelf Records for an American release. Three music videos were made for this album, not including two previously released tracks (“Pork Ginger” and “Setsuyakuka”) which already had videos. “Tokyo Vampire Hotel” was also a tie-in as the theme song to a Sono Sion (director of Suicide Club) Amazon Prime drama of the same name. What’s more, the entire album is available for listening in full on YouTube. Their focus seemed to be to reach as many people as possible with this third album and they seem to have done that. 3 has gotten a ton of music press in the English-speaking world, with features on NPR and more, and in Japan it charted on Oricon at 20, the best since their debut full-length T H E, which hit 18. But how is the album?

20861149174583

  1. TOKYO VAMPIRE HOTEL
  2. WABI-SABI
  3. Yosoiki (よそいき)
  4. DeDeDe
  5. Sukima (スキマ)
  6. pork side
  7. Pork Ginger (ポークジンジャー)
  8. Echo (エコー)
  9. 18,19
  10. Namu (南無)
  11. MUNASAWAGI
  12. Setsuyakuka (節約家)
  13. Melon Soda (メロンソーダ)

3 Facts

  • For the first time since T H E, basically the entire album features only one drummer, Yoshida Yuusuke, who is also currently their main live drummer. The two exceptions are previously recorded tracks of “Setsuyakuka” (Abe Yuuma) and “Pork Ginger” (Wakiyama Kousuke, tabaccojuice drummer and contributor on A N D).
  • “Pork Ginger” was given away for free during Christmas 2015, but this is the first time since then it has been available for purchase.
  • Despite two songs having previous releases, “Wabi-Sabi” is the oldest song on the album and was written shortly after the release of T H E. It was never performed or recorded until now.
  • “Yosoiki” is the first track to feature (briefly) lead vocals from all three members.

From first to last, every track on 3 feels like an integral part of a bigger whole. There are no throw-away tracks. Every song feels like tricot, yet this is by far their most experimental album to date. Sukima is a staccato jazz swagger and Namu is a sugar-fueled pop nightmare. The whole album in general leans more to a pop sound than anything else so far and has few heavy-hitting rock tracks that were signature pieces in their earlier albums. Yet while the album has a great cohesive feel, two of the songs with the biggest impact are the two previously-released tracks, so it doesn’t quite feel right to credit them to this album. T H E, with “Pool,” “Omotenashi,” “Ochansensuusu,” “99.974C,” “Oyasumi,” and more, still feels the most impressive in terms of memorable individual songs. That said, 3 is a still great album. It has a lot in it for tricot fans, and may present a new angle for examination for tricot skeptics. I highly recommend a listen and think that this is a candidate for album of the year.

Standout Tracks

  • Yosoiki – Addictive groove in the verse
  • 18,19 – Powerful intro with excellent drumming
  • Namu – Perhaps a polarizing number, but the repeating lyrics of “namu,” a Buddhist mantra, in this hyper-pop song is mesmerizing

Saucy Dog – Itsuka | Music Video Monday

I’d seen the (rather silly-sounding) band name around, but I watched this recent music video from Saucy Dog last week and it sounds fantastic. Three piece band from Kansai. The singer has a great, clear voice and I like the backing vocals as well. They’re playing at a festival I’m going to soon so I’ll definitely be checking them out there.